School has been in session for a bit now and schedules are locked down. Calendars are color coded, pinned on the fridge, saved on your Smart Phone and emblazoned in your brains. But, between all the soccer practices and dance rehearsals, doctor visits and dentist appointments we can lose the moments. It’s far to easy to become mechanized in a routine. Skinny mom was fortunate to find the perfect person to ask about reclaiming the time on the clock.
Slow parenting expert Susan Sachs Lipman shares advice and tips in her new book Fed up with Frenzy, on how families can maintain a frenzy-free lifestyle throughout the year. Recently interviewed by TIME Magazine, Susan’s slow parenting philosophy is rapidly becoming a welcomed trend in a world of stressful jobs, PTA meetings, and after-school activities.
Here’s how you can incorporate Slow Parenting into your family’s hectic lives and trade in frenzy for quality family time:
o Slowing Down the Morning Rush- Instead of battling the busy drop off rush at your child’s school, take time to park the car a few blocks away and walk your child to school. This strengthens family connection and starts the day off in a relaxing and peaceful way.
o Make Meal Time Meaningful- Dinner is one of the few times families get to spend time together during the day. Make the most out of dinnertime by picking a family question to share, for example, “What’s the funniest thing that happened during your day?” Families can also create fun bonding time by picking recipes, and preparing meals together throughout the week.
o Say No to More Things- Parents don’t have to serve on every school committee and children should not sign up for a lot of activities. More pleasure comes from devotion to one thing at a time and free play, rather than organized activity.
o Give Your Electronics The Day Off- Call for a family “day of rest” from technology. This can be incredibly restorative, to give full attention to your loved ones. Even cutting out a 30 minute TV show and substituting it with a family walk or game can add joy to your life.
o Do a Fun Activity or Craft- Many wonderful activities like making sock puppets, pinecone bird feeders, or singing around a campfire have gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of our overly scheduled lives. These fun activities can bond families and create lifelong memories.
The Slow Parenting Movement is really about having more fun. It’s also about honoring life’s simple pleasures in the relatively short time we’re all here together. It’s about connecting to that part of ourselves and our families that somehow got lost in the shuffle of our busy lives.
As we grow older, all those cliches become more and more true. In this case, you truly have to master improving the quality of time despite the quantity. Want to read more from Susan? Check out her site. You can also find her on Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood blog and as the San Francisco Slow Family Life Examiner at Examiner.com.