I read an interesting article written on No Sidebar by Denaye Barahona the other day. She wrote about the need for more in our lives and how that increases when we have children. We want more and better for our kids.
The question is, what is more and better? Is is the latest gadgets and toys? More and bigger holidays abroad? Branded clothes and shoes?
I don't think so. What our children need the most is our time and attention.That is what they will remember as adults.
These are the points she made in her article and I whole heartedly agree:
1. Hover less and your children will live more.
We spend so much time protecting our children, we forget to let them live. When we hover over them and perseverate over safety, our fears can undermine a child’s confidence. These fears rob them of their independence. Instead of hovering, let’s instill a sense of responsibility and natural curiosity for the world.
Allow your children to live life to the fullest. Even if that means climbing to the top of the jungle gym without a spotter.
2. Entertain less and your children will innovate more.
In many ways, Pinterest is a trap. The abundance of art, craft, and activity ideas that abound leave us feeling as though we need to do more to entertain our kids. Wouldn’t it be easy if we could just flip a switch and provide unlimited entertainment for our kids?
Oh wait, we can. It’s called screen time.
When we provide endless varieties of entertainment for our children, we leave them with very little opportunity to create and explore new ideas on their own.
So hear me out—follow my lead and skip the Pinterest activities. Then cut back on the screen time. Let kids be bored. Give them space. The innovation that results will astound you.
3. Schedule less and your children will rest more.
As humans, we need to rest our bodies and minds. This is particularly true of small bodies that are growing and maturing rapidly. Research show us that childhood anxiety is a rising epidemic in this generation. A child who grows up with anxiety is significantly more likely to be plagued with mental health challenges throughout their adult years.
Do you know what our children need? Rest.
Do you know what we need? Rest.
Stop making rest a luxury—make rest a priority. The mental and physical health of your family depends on it.
4. Referee less and your children will problem solve more.
As parents, we wear many hats. One hat we need to hang up is that of the referee. Parents have the tendency to jump in and solve any disputes and challenges that children come across. It’s easier to be the referee than watch two kids awkwardly settle their own disagreement. It’s easier to jump in and help than wait ten minutes for a kid to fumble through shoe tying.
After you hang up that hat, get comfortable sitting on the sidelines in silence. Kids need a lot of practice to learn how to problem solve—so let’s give them many chances to do it for themselves.
5. Buy less and your children will seek more.
Research shows that clutter is associated with higher levels of stress in families. Have you yelled at your kids to clean up their rooms recently? If your home has less inside, it is easier to clean up. It is easier to take good care of fewer things.
You know what doesn’t have a long-term impact on a child happiness? The latest hit toy. Buy your children less, and as a result, they will be able to better filter out the noise and focus on the important things.
Studies tell us that family vacations and togetherness have a long term impact on a child’s happiness. Let’s teach our children to value “stuff” less and experiences more.