What is a ‘sound family’? No not the phonics groups! But families that are doing ok. They are ‘sound’. So often we aim to have the perfect family, or the healthy family or the outdoorsy family and if we are lucky all the members of the family are into this. But what if they’re not? We can perceive ourselves to be failing. This can lead to our own anxieties as well as tension with the kids. So what can we do?
1. Accept that it is ok for everyone to have their own interests and some space to do them (even the parents). Our interests are what help us to relax and enjoy ourselves and are important for switching off in busy lives.
2. Allow time to switch off and do nothing. Kids have very busy days at school and often don’t respond well to questions about their day as soon as they get in. Notice what they want to do when they come in, sit and chill or have a snack. Give them some space before lots of questions.
3. As a family have good mobile phone/tablet habits. Phones and devices should not be in bedrooms. They should be charging downstairs. Computers and laptops should be used downstairs as well. The internet and social media are isolating. To have your children used to sharing these with you and talking about things in a non judgemental way will help them to come to you if there is an issue. Make sure the adults also model time away from their phones!
4. Encourage your kids to meet with other kids! Getting out of the house, walking to the shops and shopping with friends are all positive activities. Learning to negotiate on the playground and to listen to your instincts about who you do and don’t like are important skills. If they are always in the presence of adults they don’t develop these as readily – they just rely on the adults.
5. Be in the presence of each other. Spending time as a family, whether it is all together or a girly day out or trip to the footie. Learn to play their favourite game on the console. Sometimes it is in these quieter times, no agenda, no questions that you can have the best conversations.
Happiness at all times of the day and night is not an achievable aim for a family. Being content to be with each other, to have time together and apart can help build close bonds and a ‘sound family’.
Join me for seminars and talks on rising confident children and Modern Parenting Must Haves. Aimed at parents of school age children at which time lots of support falls away. Parents go back to work and there is limited advice for parents (other than individual opinions). All talks are research based and provide enough information for parents to adapt to what works for them as a family.
If you are interested in a talk for your parent group, business or school please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information from America on the impact of smart phones and social media you might want to look at the link below.