ave you ever heard from your kids, “Mom I just want to stay home.” Our lives became so rushed and we keep spinning in circles trying to keep up with everybody else. Hurry is our greatest enemy and we need to eliminate it from our lives and learn how to slow down.
But what would other people think about our not so fast life, they might consider us being lazy. How about giving our kids best: high-speed, high-expectation activities to develop them to the fullest? The fuller our schedule is the better we feel about ourselves and about our kids.
We don’t have time to relate deeply to our kids and to our spouses. We feel we are bad parents and not doing our best to give our kids every chance to discover their gifts, talents, skills, and dreams. And after all, do we have a choice?
We do have a choice as to how we want to raise our children and what the pace of our life should be. All we have to do is rethink our lives and choose our priorities.
1. Redefine what success is for you. Choose a slower and more focused life. No more rushing around and yelling at your kids for not making it on time for the next scheduled activity. Less is more.
2. Make family dinners a must in your family most times of the week. Practice saying “no” to unnecessary activities. Spend time with the members of your family, talk and listen.
3. Keep it small. Do two to three things a day and don’t feel guilty. That’s realistically what you can do anyways!
4. Give your children a gift of slow and steady childhood. Don’t burn them down with too many activities.
5. Go to bed on time and get some rest! Get your full night sleep to restore your body, mind and soul. You don’t have to do it all today.
6. Take time to meditate and worship God.
7. Define your limits. We have to learn our limits and the limits of our family, because we are one team.
8. Stop comparing your family to other families. Start interacting with people, build real relationship and make genuine friends.
9. Enjoy your family’s unique traditions, whether it is Saturday-morning crepes, road trips, board games or hugs and kisses before bed. Make sure you keep these rituals.
10. Tame those technologies in your house. Promote activities kids enjoy like riding bikes, skating, swimming, walks to the park, card games and reading. Use a timer to set limits on media. Run all emails through one account. No Facebook or Instagram for kids. Parental control and Internet filters. Share one computer for all in only one room and no technologies in the bedrooms.
11. Spend time outdoors with your children admiring nature. Schedule an outing with a friend to a local park. Plant a container garden. Make a bird feeder and watch sparrows, chickadees, etc. Eat outside whenever possible. Plan a vacation that will include watching natural wonders – ocean, woods, wild life, canyons or rivers.
12. Counteract the consumerism. Teach kids gratitude. Be content with the simple life and whatever you have at hand. Minimize screen time as lot of commercials come from there. Avoid items with movie characters and all the name-brands as these things tend to be more expensive. Offer your kids modest allowance, so it teaches them to save money and discern their most desired items. Shop second-hand.
13. Don’t allow your children to be pushed into sex and sexuality prematurely. In our highly sexualized society, we can still make our own decisions to slow things down. We can choose to limit exposure to media. We can talk openly with our kids, encouraging them to slow down and stay pure.
14. Encourage creativity in kids and don’t just limit it to an hour of art class per week. You don’t have to spend tons of money, – instead, free up some time and embrace free-form creativity. Keep things like old corks, felt, fishing line, good markers, colored pencils, glue, lots of paper, fabric, washable paint, boxes, notebooks and all sorts of paper at hand. And don’t you worry, your kids won’t be bored for too long!
All we have to do is rethink our lives and choose our priorities