In four easy steps you can make a place for grace and sanity in your house.
Who doesn’t need more of that?
1. Turn off the TV
You’ve heard it before, so what’s new?
TV characters tell children what to buy, how to dress, what to eat, how to talk, what to aspire to, what to love, and what to scorn. Given the pervasiveness of TV, children will often unknowingly allow it to control their play.
Instead of having a camp-out where they make decisions and invent characters, they have a camp-out where a popular show character is making all the decisions.
But here’s the thing: if you inspire and facilitate the right conditions for kids to be imaginative, they will be able to play alone for longer periods of time.
A child that can play alone for a long period of time isn’t interrupting you all the time, thus allowing you more time to get done what you need to get done.
Turning off the TV takes an enormous amount of effort. It means finding other activities. It means inspiring our children’s imaginations and minds by fully engaging our own.
The end goal though (resourceful, responsible, inventive kids) will be worth the effort, ten-fold.
2. If you don’t turn off the TV, switch to using Netflix or Amazon Prime exclusively.
This eliminates all commercials, one of parents’ worst nightmares.
Think about it this way: if you get rid of commercials, your kids won’t know what products to beg you to buy.
The next time when you go to the store, they won’t know what they’re supposed to whine for, will therefore whine less, and you’ll be out of the store more quickly.
Again, this pays dividends to you in the form of creating time.
3. Put your phone on airplane mode
I learned this while on vacation with my husband in Costa Rica. We found ourselves in plenty of natural surroundings where cell service was non-existent (and we didn’t care).
The Monday I got back I took my boys to the park. My mind was still in vacation mode and I actually had the thought “Huh, I will have no way to contact anyone while I’m here.”
It took me about 10 minutes before I realized there is definitely ample signal to use my data plan in the park.
Then I realized I didn’t want the signal.
Instead, I realized I could get a few things accomplished that I wanted to get done while the boys were occupied with playing in the park.
So airplane mode stayed on for our outings to the park.
The next time we went, I took a book with me and actually managed to read two short chapters.
4. If not airplane mode, choose one social media app to delete from your phone
If you can’t decide which one to start with, choose Pinterest (Sorry, Pinterest).
It’s a time suck, it usually makes you feel inadequate and it’s completely overwhelming.
When you start to feel comfortable with deleting one social media app, delete another one.
And another and another until you are free from the social media trap on your phone.
Now use the time you would be spending on updating social media to finish reading that book, finish that
home decor project or just go outside and relax.
Creating time in today’s culture is really about recognizing opportunities to convert the time you waste into quality time.
Just like with a savings account, making these conversions of small chunks of each day will add up into more peace, more reflection and more satisfaction each day, week and month.
Now, please share your own superb parenting experience.
What ways to create more time are most effective for you?
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