By Sairah Zubair Khan
What do I mean by FOMO, you may ask? It is an occurrence that I have observed almost daily, since our school holidays began for half term last week. It’s more commonly known as ‘Fear of Missing Out’.
Not posting the latest video, checking a vital text message, are the ticks ‘blue or not’, checking bonus points on a game. “If I don’t check my message, reply, tweet…”. Thankfully we are all still here and intact, the world is saved!
I recently read a very interesting post on Pinterest. It was posted by a fellow observer and I would like to share it with you;
The phone/device does not go to school with you, unless requested by the teacher. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill!
Don’t take a million photos and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences.
Leave your phone/device at home sometimes. Feel secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger than FOMO-fear of missing out.
Play a game with words, puzzles or brain teasers. Play with each other! Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you.
Any google search will provide a list of things to do before you are 10, 12 and so on. The National Trust in the UK and Nature Play Australia provide wonderful resources for a sunny and rainy day, both indoors and outdoors.
Climb a tree, make a mud pie, build a den, hold a scary beast to name but a few.
You may be wondering, that’s all well and good but we live in the middle of the desert! No lakes and streams here?!
No matter, we can adapt the lists to the terrain we have here. If you look hard enough, there are fields of wildflowers, date farms, Wadi’s that hold water and wonderful Oasis to spend an afternoon exploring.
Not to mention the Cultural Villages that we have, providing endless hours of fun for young minds.
By now, it’s day four of the holidays. You have been creative, gone through the list and they are still complaining of boredom. They are feeling the after effects of being weaned off their device, heart palpitations, sweating, more sleep, a clear mind…
What to do? Well most of us live in a compound set up. Some compounds provide a social club, sports facilities, have outdoor play grounds, host themed events at Eid, Christmas, Halloween etc.
Why then do we isolate ourselves, whilst living here? We attend the parties, school events, istraha days (picnics). It seems only when they involve ‘people like us’.
We need to teach and promote our kids to be culturally sensitive and tolerant. Make friends with those living around you. They are not so different to yourself, tv programmes, music, sport, video games transcend all languages and cultures.
By now any child can sing, dance or hum ‘despacito’ regardless of age, language, colour or nationality. We must be aware and practice social inclusion rather than exclusion. A friendly football match for all participants, art competitions, bake a cake for the neighbourhood!
At Eid and Ramadan, we have made lifelong friends by sending a dish familiar and loved by our family to our neighbours. In return we receive an amazing surprise each night, it could be a South American starter, Chinese main course and a delicious Palestinian dessert.
My children cook and love to show off their skills by providing food. In turn they are remembered for their kindness.
At the end of the day, we want our children to feel socially accepted, be happy and healthy, with a ‘Need to Join In’!