National Families Week
We are all busy doing what we do, every – single – day! Life becomes one big routine, so much so that we sometimes fail to see the gold between the monotony of ‘life’.
Even when we observe, we are guilty of seeing things that could do with a little love and improvement. Yet, as humans, we are creatures of habit, and so we continue doing what we do best… staying in our comfort zone - unchanged.
Who here is guilty of the amount of screen time our children and teens get? Ok, ok, I know we might let it slide because… “Hey, it’s educational” or, “They need their down time too”. Yet, it still tugs on our core beliefs and the hint of unease tells us that we should probably intervene on a more regular basis.
With International Families week approaching (15th – 21st May) what a great opportunity it is to take a look at our week-in-week-out routines and shake it up a little. When we instigate change in our lives, amazing things can happen. In combination with celebrating all things family, ‘Play Outside Day’ was also celebrated on 4th May, so in a beautiful collaboration, why don’t we combine the two and enrich your family with a little positive change with getting everyone involved (even the pets).
By embracing your family, away from the routine of day-to-day living, it opens your heart to truly appreciate the simplicity of what you have around you. Let’s all put our phones down, close those laptop covers and get outside with your family. Here’s a little family toolkit below to spark some imagination and ideas…
No phone zone – why don’t you implement an area of the house or a timeframe where all phones go into a basket and you converse with your family. Even if you’re watching the TV together, you will be amazed at what watching the TV without your phone can do – your time and energy will be far more concentrated and you can snuggle your kids with that free hand you now have. (We’re all guilty of being on our phones so don’t take it personally, just be brave enough to try some ‘time out’).
Sit at the table – It’s easy enough after a hard day of school/work that we just want to crash on the couch. Set the table and talk about how everyone’s day was, take turns… its such a giggly exercise, particularly if you have a toddler at the table – they say the funniest things. It also encourages your teens to ‘talk’ – even if there is a little eye rolling initially.
Get outside – there are so many fantastic things to do in our beautiful city. It doesn’t have to be an event; it could just be packing a picnic and trying out a new park or area?
The ‘Paddle Pop Stick’ took kit – get a bunch of sticks and divide them equally between family members… each write things you would like to do (activities, a movie you would like to watch, a place you might like to eat at, a nearby town you’d like to day trip to. For the kids, it might be having everyone go to his or her favourite park. Whatever it might be, whoever writes it on the stick, means it’s important to them. THEN… on the days you are stuck for ideas, someone picks a stick out of a jar and then bam… you have your plans.
Take a deep breath… babies/toddlers/pre-teens/teens/adult children can all be frustrating and difficult at times, but hey, so can we as parents. We all know the eye rolls and how unpopular we can be to our kids from time to time. Please take the time and utilise patience, because engaging your family and being truly present creates magic. Your children will feel heard; you will feel more present and less distracted if you make an effort to carve our some family time.
Last but not least. We loved the idea of Families Week so much that we are putting on ‘Family Yoga in the Park’ for you all to enjoy… Come along and embrace your family.
Family Yoga in the Park – Monday 15th May
Location: Clive Brunskill Memorial Park