Unplug on Father’s Day and Reconnect with Your Family
The Incredible Lesson that a Father and Daughter Learned When They Set Aside Technology
Father’s Day is almost upon us again. How will you celebrate this year?
Instead of doing the same old things you have always done, Dr. Rick Goodman, a team-building expert and speaker from Pembroke Pines, Fla., recommends his fellow fathers think outside the box this year. “Find ways to really connect with your children,” he says. “You’ll be glad you did.”
Dr. Goodman took that concept to extremes two years ago when he proposed a 24-day trip abroad with his daughter, Jamie. He wanted to bring her to some of his favorite places: London, England; Paris, France; Florence and Rome, Italy; and Israel.
At first, Jamie was not sure if she should go “I had never traveled to Europe, but I knew if I did not take advantage of this opportunity I might regret it later” she said. “So I decided to go for it”
Within three months of accepting the invitation, Jamie found herself on an airplane. She was just 16 at the time and Dr. Rick was about to drop the bomb most teenagers dread, “It’s time to Unplug!”
Once they got underway, there was an important ground rule. “We were going to unplug from all forms of technology,” said Dr. Goodman. “I think the pain for a lot of parents right now is the inability to communicate with their children, who typically hang out in their rooms, close the door and start texting with their friends.”
“If we had both been able to use our phones and a computer, I know it would have substantially limited our ability to build the kind of relationship we did,” said Jamie, who wrote in her journal on paper during the trip.
Sure they had occasional disagreements during their travels, like the time they got mad at each other for the distraction that caused them to miss the train stop for their hotel in London, and the time Jamie refused to wear a jacket despite her father’s suggestion that she do so. “But in the end, our relationship was closer than ever before,” said Dr. Goodman, who discovered a lot about his daughter that summer. “I discovered that my daughter is a giver, she is open to new things and has a sense of adventure.”
Jamie discovered a lot about her dad too. “Turns out we are a lot alike,” she said. “We are both strong minded, strong willed and hard workers.” But perhaps more importantly, they really got to know each other during the trip. “It is that mutual understanding about each other’s lives that has made us closer,” said Jamie.
The memories of their trip will now live on for not only Jamie and her Dad, but anyone who reads Jamie’s new book, as well. In addition to sharing the details of their trip, the book also serves as a good travel guide for any family planning a trip of their own to Europe. Included at the end of each chapter are “Jamie’s Gems,” where she offers advice to other teenagers on travelling with their parents and the benefits of unplugging from technology and reconnecting with your family!
Since its release, Jamie’s Journey has received numerous favorable reviews. Shep Hyken, who is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, said, “Jamie takes us inside the mind of today’s teens and demonstrates the importance of spending more time with our children, building relationships and memories that will last a lifetime. Every parent and teen should read this book… together.”
In his review of the book, Russell F. Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish National Fund said, “This wonderful journey of discovery of each other and of themselves is tied into 3,000 years of stories of biblical journeys when they are in Israel and find their soul on the ancient soil of their ancestors. I was touched by their view of the beauty of the sights they saw the people they met and the willingness to see it all through each other’s eyes. A must-read to see yourself and to understand the possibilities of life.”
Jamie’s Journey “Travels with My Dad,” is available for purchase on Amazon.com, and makes a great Father’s Day gift for dads of all ages. For more information, visit www.jamiejourney.com.