An Opportunity to get Reacquainted

by Dr. Bradbury

I don’t have a question tonight, so I thought I would write on something related to our current situation. Last Friday, our Governor ordered that everyone stay at home as much as possible. Though this seems like a handicap, maybe it can be a blessing in disguise.

I believe this is a great opportunity to prioritize your activities. It’s not a time to become frustrated with your children, instead, it’s an opportunity to spend time with them. This may be the time to get reacquainted with the old board games. In fact, I am going to hurry and get this article written, so I can go play a game of SPLIT with my wife.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s a fun card game that is no longer available in stores. However, I did locate a couple of sets of SPLIT cards on EBAY to send to my grandchildren after they visited us recently. We introduced them to the game, and they found it quite fun. Of course, it helped that we told them to leave their electronic devices in Anchorage.

How about a good old game of Monopoly? Or checkers? Or Sorry? Or Chutes and Ladders? But these are best played when parents join together with their children and teens. Yes, I said teens. Put away the electronics and get reacquainted.

No, I am not against electronic devices, but they do need to be monitored. Someone mentioned to me that the term social distancing is probably inappropriate. It was suggested that physical distancing is probably a better term. So, there is a time to use those electronic devices to stay socially close, rather than socially distant.

However, there is a concern that is related to the electronics. GCI has so graciously allowed those with school children in their homes to upgrade to more gigabytes of data and higher speeds. With this comes greater access to sites that are not beneficial. I encourage parents and children to turn in and off phones at night unless phones are job related and required to be on at night.

If you as a parent have been running a well-ordered home, it is not time to let down on the order. With people working from home and children going to school from home, it could become easy to stay up later and later and get up later and later. How about taking this time to develop schedules for work and sleep? Also, mealtimes could easily become disrupted. Instead, use the more relaxed time to bring order to your home.

Plan menus and get the children involved in cooking and baking. If your children are small, read stories to them before bedtime. Use your time wisely. One of my daughters had a technique for quieting her house when the kids became to rambunctious. She is a very positive person, and she would call for reading time. But instead of calling it reading time, she called it literacy time. And for a set amount of time everyone would read. So, maybe it would be good for everyone in the household to take a break and have literacy time.

Order and schedules are very important to emotional and mental health. Remember, one of these days you will return to the workplace and this fall children will return to school. Now is a time to develop good habits instead of bad.

Well, I have rambled on long enough and my wife is waiting for me to play that SPLIT game I mentioned earlier. Then, it will be time to read our Bibles and off to bed at a reasonable hour. Up again tomorrow morning early. Lots to do, but the pace has been more leisurely, and I am taking advantage of the leisurely pace. Don’t bemoan it. Thank God for granting you this opportunity.

Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to [email protected]

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