This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
As parents, we’re all guilty of it. It comes from a place of love, of course. Of seeing the best in our children, and wanting the best for them.
If you really think about it, every minute of children’s lives are structured. They wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to school, go to after-school activities, come home, do homework… You get the picture.
What’s left is very little time for our kids to slow down, exercise their imaginations, and truly connect to the people and environments around them. Here are 3 sure-fire tips to help keep your kids balanced this year…
1. Encourage (Occasional) Spontaneity
Routine is great and all, but there are a few things it isn’t great for: confidence, flexibility and an adventurous spirit.
You want to encourage your child to see the world as a miracle, and spontaneity is a great way to do just that. Spontaneity is what creates memories… The kind of memories that last a lifetime. While it’s important for your child to understand the value of routine, let him or her know that breaking it every once in a blue moon is totally OK, and totally fun. Here are some ideas for exercising freedom with your child:
- Stay up past bedtime to watch a meteor shower or stargaze.
- Veer off track driving home, and go on a one-on-one, unplanned adventure.
- Child showing interest in tigers? Go to the zoo to see them in real life! Trucks? Drive to a near-by construction site!
- Eat breakfast for dinner!
2. Schedule Unstructured Time
I know… Ironic, right? It may sound counterintuitive, but setting a side a chunk of the day to let everyone do NOTHING can be great. Consider making a cardinal rule for this ‘unstructured’ time that it must be spent outdoors. There’s no better recipe for balance than kids and nature!
3. Put Laps Before Apps
These days, boredom is a lost art. Any time there is a slump in the routine, everyone whips out their devices. Then, those moments that could nudge creative imagination into motion come to a halt (and are replaced with Minecraft or messaging apps).
Make an effort to balance technology use in your home by setting limitations on it’s use. A great starting point for managing screen time is a unique parental control app called OurPact (yes… managing technology with technology!). OurPact lets parents remotely manage their children’s mobile devices through schedules, at-a-touch blocking, and allowances.
Whether you want to set a bedtime schedule, block Internet and apps for ‘unstructured time’ or dinner, the choice is yours. No two parents ‘OurPact’ the same way, but all parents – and children – benefit from a bit of technology-free time! (… And it’s free, to boot!)
Finding balance isn’t easy, especially for us parents… But the benefits are amazing. So what are you waiting for? Give yourself the freedom to give freedom!