I spent last weekend with a group of high school girls and 10 of our staff, and was reminded again of the power of down time. Girls and their families are busy and stressed these days with mounds of homework, supervised activities, and of course screens, leaving little time to relax and just be. Getting away for a weekend retreat and unplugging from technology provided us the opportunity to do it different and bring the girls back down to earth.
Throughout the weekend, we gave these young women permission to be kids again. We played silly games, made homemade chocolate chip cookies from scratch (and ate a ton of cookie dough), took a hike that involved climbing down and up a steep ravine, walked down to a river and skipped stones, sat and enjoyed campfires, had “story time” one night to settle everyone down to sleep, made each other friendship bracelets, and laughed and giggled all weekend long.
I love seeing teenage girls feel accepted and safe enough to let their hair down and allow the little girl that’s still inside of them to come out and play. They felt free to laugh and sing and dance and act silly, all of which is therapeutic in this intense, pressure-filled world.
Create opportunities at home to enjoy down time together. It’s a great stress release for kids and adults, and brings a special kind of closeness.
Check out my new online video course: TAKING FLIGHT: EVERYDAY PARENTING WISDOM TO HELP GIRLS SOAR.