Why Your Phone Helps Them

For Van Gendelen, who turned cell phone clips into documentaries, everyone’s motherwill be released in cinemas from August 11th. This was very important. In 2016, when her Gendalen mother, Hendrika (nicknamed Oma), moved in with him and his wife Megan, and her two young children, she was 84 years old. I was suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. She stayed there for four and a half years until her death in February of this year at the age of 89.

The film chronicles Hendrika’s decline and the effect the blast had on his family.

“It’s a big price to pay for our little family, a big price to pay for our marriage,” Megan Van Gendelen says at one point in the film, when she and her husband are in the kitchen and Hendrika frequently comes home. Says in a trembling voice while arguing about time. She falls, hurts herself, forgets where she is and is safe at home. (For a while, Hendrika became so distressed when left alone that her family was virtually unable to leave the house.)

In a phone call, Megan said of her children, now 3 and 6 years old, Evie and Artie, “I felt guilty for not spending quality time with them. ‘I don’t want them to go!’ cries to her mother in one scene as she is about to leave home.

Being physically close to people helps build connections. Especially if you’re huddled around your phone.

Clinical psychologist Mary Spillane

But it’s these clips – in addition to sunny ones like 1 A look at Juan Gendalen’s family, who built a grocery store in the kitchen so Hendrika could go “shopping.” The Late Late Show With James Corden And it has amassed over 9 million views online. This continues to help Van Gendarlen’s children grow, their parents say.

Seeing the film at its Sydney Film Festival premiere in June helped Artie grieve his grandmother’s death, the filmmaker says. [Oma] As we talked, he saw her moving and that’s when everything solidified for him,” he says. “She’s actually gone. She didn’t just go out. It’s been a really great little bonding experience for Megan and I to raise him through it all.”

And being able to watch videos as they get older will help children understand what helped shape an important part of their personality.

Van Gendelen, who patiently shows his grandmother how to play card games and how to point in the film, says, “They have a different level of compassion and patience from what they’ve been through living with Mama. There is,” he says. on their lips to help her understand what they are saying. “When someone’s going through a tough time, they understand.” Without the video, Evie wouldn’t remember her grandmother or the time they shared, Megan says.

And clinical psychologist Mary Spillane says that watching videos of shared experiences helps all parents and children bond, regardless of their family situation.

“It’s nice to share time like that and share interests with each other,” says Spillane. “There is also the physical proximity factor of watching videos together. ”


For parents who have a tricky patch with their child, perhaps as a teenager, or when a little one is going through a patch of tantrums, being able to watch shared happy times on video is also helpful. .

“This is called the recency effect. What you last saw can change how you feel about someone.” We often derive the most meaning from events that happened in . [more] A good time not only elicits positive emotions, [inspire you to] Reflect more empathically or kindly about your child, especially if it has been difficult.

This is not to say that parents should be encouraged to use screens freely at home.

“Too much of anything is a problem,” says Spillane. “And in many ways we don’t fully understand the implications. [of screens]…but looking for those opportunities that could actually be useful. ”

Three months after her death, I would do anything to videotape my last conversation with her. The day before she died she wants to hear her voice when she looked at me and said she is such a beautiful baby Black hair. “

But I’m lucky. And not just because I’m grateful that we managed to forgive each other for our previous inability to accept each other before our last visit to her. There’s even a video of me staring at her with kind, clear eyes through the phone while uttering the last words.

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Why Your Phone Helps Them

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