It’s summer, and you finally have a little time to relax with your kids and forget about homework and time commitments, even just for a window of time.
What better time to focus in on your children - their needs, their strengths - and how you can be a better parent?
As a Mother, I know there are certain things that we should not pay too much attention to. On the other hand, summer is a great time to focus in on certain things that truly do matter… Doing so will not only help you be the best parent you can be, but also your children be the best version of themselves.
Here are three things I think every mother should focus on as we bring summer to a close…
While adventuring this summer, try to hone in on what catches your child’s attention naturally. Finding an interest that comes naturally can be a great way to encourage a new pursuit.
If your child doesn’t like piano, don’t force it. Instead, if you can’t get your child out of the ocean water, encourage surf lessons or paddle boarding. Do you have a bookworm on your hands? Encourage writing, and take more trips to the library.
There’s something out there just waiting for your child to discover, which will open up their world in countless new and exciting ways!
Etiquette teaches a value to children beyond just polite behavior… Teaching young children good manners is an excellent way to encourage considerate thinking, gratitude and respect.
Maybe you find that you’re taking your kids to new places and meeting new people frequently this summer. Why not use these opportunities to have them practice their manners? Teach your kids to know what’s appropriate in different situations and to show respect for others. Little lessons in etiquette can go a long way, and will last a lifetime. Here are some ideas to start:
· If your child goes for a play date at a friend’s house, encourage him or her to personally thank their friend’s parent before leaving.
· If they have a friend over to play, let them know that it’s polite to introduce you to their friends.
· Teach all of the ‘magic words’… And use them yourself!
· Every mess that is made is to be cleaned up. If they need help, they’re more than welcome to ask politely! ;)
For my husband and I, managing screen time was a huge struggle, and major source of stress. We would set limits and rules, only for them to be broken, and were constantly arguing with our children over just ‘five more minutes.’
I’d had enough.
Recently, one of my friends told me about an app called OurPact, that allows parents to set schedules for internet and apps use, or block access to devices at-a-touch. It seems a bit weird, managing technology with technology, but our lives have changed significantly since we started using OurPact.
We sat down and signed a family ‘screen time’ contract. Together we created schedules, and agreed that no devices are to be used during family meals, or during the afternoons. Then, the app does the rest. Now, my kids are out playing and making memories, and we enjoy distraction-free, drama-free family meals every day. My kids know their limits, and don’t bother to argue… They know at the end of the day, I have OurPact.
To get started, parents just need to go to ourpact.com and sign up for an account, or install OurPact’s iOS app on a parent device then create an account.Then, pair the child devices you want to manage (they offer management for iOS and Android child devices). This app has been a lifesaver for our family… Some of the benefits?
· My kids are learning responsible device habits, independently.
· We’ve had an opportunity to teach the value of agreements.
· Summer is being fully enjoyed! My kids are making memories, instead of wasting time in front of screens. (I can’t wait to use it during the school year for homework time!)
· My kids have been getting solid sleeps! (You can set a bedtime schedule that blocks access during bedtime hours.)
· We have more time to connect as a family, without distractions.
· IT’S FREE. J
With so much more time available, don’t let the summer months get away from you without targeting a few things that can foster creativity and balance for your kids.
Focus on these three things this summer, and make the most out of your lazy summer days! Your family will only be stronger for it. ;)