For the fifth week of the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, I read Fed Up with Frenzy - Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World by Susan Sachs Lipman.
The book is packed with great ideas about slowing down as a parent; and doing memorable and meaningful activities with your child(ren). As I paged through the book, I thought, "I've done that..." or "Oh, yes...I remember doing that with Sophia and Olivia."
The activities are aimed more for young children - probably no older than eight years old, maybe nine. That being said, it depends too how they are being raised. If they are accustomed to living a more imaginative, slower, deeper, and richer life - these activities could maybe be stretched for a longer period of time.
The final chapter of the book focuses on slow parenting and offers the following reminders that are valuable to parents with children of any age:
- Evaluate your own desires - Are you signing your child up for activities you would have liked for yourself? Although exposure to many things is delightful and, indeed, a luxury, too much of a good thing can backfire.
- Get enough sleep - Try to have a regular bedtime for yourself and your child(ren).
- Stop running a taxi service - Something is lost when we spend too much time "lost in transportation." Choose between activities, combine errands, or do errands and something fun together.
- Give your electronics the day off - this could be for a weekend, day, or night.
- Say no to more things - often children are overscheduled to the point of creating stress for the whole family. Perhaps explore one or two activities at a time, and carefully consider the costs and benefits of each before adding any new ones.
- Give your kids some downtime - to play, daydream, or explore on her own. Every activity doesn't have to lead to a future goal. Our tendency to over-schedule and overstimulate children can create undue stress for them.
- Cultivate friendships with a variety of people - in terms of different ages or whom you don't know through your child(ren). Sometimes, as a parents, we need to connect with people who reflect different or dormant interests or parts of ourselves.
- Be a tourist in your town - look for new things to see or do around your town.
- Try something new - can be done individually or as a family to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.
- Get physical - laugh, play, walk, and exercise together.
- Practice gratitude - exchanges negative emotions for positive ones.
- Perform service - the world is larger than our experience of it.
- Be in the present moment and do one thing at a time - it makes us more efficient, calmer, and less scattered than we are when we try to do many things at once.