How to slow life down with your kids and get back to the basics

Our modern life is fast.  We lead busy lives, and we seem to wear that sort of life like a badge of honor.  We are all permanently connected.  Whether it be to our social media pages or the dinging of our phones that alert us to incoming emails.  We can do our banking while we are at lunch, our social media while at dinner.  Due to the devices that all of us carry, there is an expectation of immediacy in everything that we do.  It seems that we are so busy, that we sometimes forget about how simple life can be.

Our kids can grow up so fast.  As a parent, it can be difficult to remember how simple life can be.  The trick is to slow things down and to help our kids enjoy a better life.  If we move at a slower pace we tend to appreciate more of what is around us.   Following are seven easy ways to slow life down with your kids and get back to the basics as a family.

Turn off your devices
Occasionally you need to disconnect.  For those of us who are married to our mobile phones, the thought of turning things off can be frightening.  You don’t need to do anything permanently, just be aware that there are times when you can disconnect.  Make a rule that there are periods of the day when devices are not allowed.  Dinnertime is a perfect place to start; at the dining table you can enjoy a family conversation.

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If the temptation is too much, then not only turn off your devices but put them away.  You could create a ‘devices drawer’ or a ‘gadgets hat’.  Turn them off and put them away for a little while.  If you are not focussing on what is on the screen in front of you, you can see the faces of your kids instead.  Don’t make it a punishment, but rather something fun and eventually it will become a time that you enjoy.  It can be like stepping back in time for a moment or two.

Forget about the television
We have all seen the faces of kids when there is a television in the room.  They almost become like zombies where they occasionally see you, but don’t hear you.  As adults, we can be mesmerized if sitting in a café, or restaurant that has a television in the background.  Those magic screens attract our eyes and it is hard to pull away.

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It is the same at home.  If the television is on, it is like a magnet that attracts our attention.  That background noise can mean we tune out and forget to hear what is important.  Schedule a night or two where you don’t turn on the television.  Hang out with your kids and see what they have to say.  Encourage them to talk more and make sure you let them know you are listening.

Play a board game
Get old-fashioned and pull out a board game. Try scrabble, monopoly or something new.  Sitting at a table or lying on the floor as a family and playing a game can teach your kids all sorts of things that are easy to forget.  The joy of winning, the art of losing.  A board game can teach you to plot and strategize.

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Sometimes it is a matter of getting back to the simple things.  Things don’t need to cost a lot of money to bring joy into your life.  If your kids are young, let them win. When they are older, then enjoy the challenge of trying to beat them.   Give them the joy of new memories and the thrill of landing on Mayfair and Park Lane.

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