It’s easy to suddenly find our family overcommitted. How does it happen?
When a child says, ‘It’s not my fault,’ we require them to take responsibility’the same suggestion goes for the adults in the family as well.
The first step to change is awareness’an awareness of what is happening right now and what parts of it don’t fit with the values and needs of your family and its members. Some suggestions for awareness are:
1. Build a list of ‘calm’ activities that you have pictured for your family during the spring and summer, such as longer walks through parks, visiting with other families, gardening, making crafts and just time spent together.
2. How realistic is this list? Is it realistic to go on a long cycle when your youngest is still on training wheels? Stick with calming activities your family can actually accomplish without the need for lessons or equipment purchases.
3. Open your eyes’what is taking you away from the activities in your list? One of the greatest time-thieves of our generation is technology. Have each family member track technology time per day. This may give you a great place to cut back and build in some of the calm activities.
Taking responsibility for our own sense of calm and happiness, models this for our children. We show them that rather than being carried along with the big group, we can stop, assess the situation and make changes that work for our family. This is exactly what we want our kids to do when things aren’t going well on the playground, at school and everywhere along the way in their lives.
The bottom line’it’s great to have dreams for our family and our lives together. Sometimes, those dreams are beyond our reach. The only way to get even close to them is to be aware of the current situation and to begin to move the reality somewhat closer to those dreams one step at a time.
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