086 Parenting Tips: What You Said {Life Balance Series}

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That’s the most I’m willing to offer 🙂

This is the continuation of our new series that we kicked off in episode 082. My 15-year old son “B” joined us in episode 085 to share his perspective on parenting and family, and you all had LOTS to say. In this follow up bonus show, I share your comments and add a few of my own.

I’m no expert. I can’t promise you parenting bliss, and I don’t pretend to have all of the answers. 

I’m just trying to make every day better than the day before, and trying to not suck at this enormously important, hard and amazing, brutiful thing called parenting. 🙂

Resources Mentioned: 

How to Participate in this Free Series:

 

Life Balance Wheel

  • Download/print your  Life Balance Wheel Worksheet
  • Fill it out for where you are TODAY (not where you want to be…yet)
  • Share with me where you are: what are you “high” in, where are you “low?”…what are your biggest struggles? You can answer this 3 question survey – it’s easier than email!

What you said…

Here are some of your own responses when asked about your parenting tips:

CELL PHONES & TECHNOLOGY

  • Heather: My 16-year old daughter (who has a boyfriend) has to plug in her phone in our master bathroom every night at 10:00. It started in the kitchen, but we soon realized that she was sneaking into the kitchen late at night and texting. So, the phone in our bathroom ensures that the boyfriend communication cuts off at 10pm and that she is getting good sleep without that distraction.The phones are the ultimate distraction, the biggest time-suck. These kids have the ability to stay in CONSTANT contact with each other which isn’t always so healthy, in my opinion.My boyfriend, when I was in high school, had to call our landline if he wanted to talk to me, have an awkward exchange with one of my parents, and I had to talk to him on the phone that was connected to the wall with a chord. 🙂 My kids need sleep, they need to put the phone down and pick up a book, and they need to break up with technology every night at 10 or before.
  • John:  I explained that the phone was not theirs, they were ours. I  stayed up on technology and we inspected content – texts, pics, etc. We explained that they had no choice what people sent them, but that they had complete and total control over their tongues and what they did with things that were sent to them. It’s easy for kids to hide behind the anonymity of key strokes – saying things virtually that they would never say out-loud. They came to realize that that phone was a privilege – not a right. We weren’t afraid to take the phone. Sometimes we restored the privilege one step at a time. For example, we would turn-off text capabilities….. The phone was more important to them than the car.TV’s/Computers: We didn’t put TVs or computers in their rooms. We were afraid we’d never see them. And we didn’t eat in front of the TV. We ate at the table. TV was off. 

DINNERTIME

  • Crystie: We do family sit-down dinners (and as many other meals as possible) My kids are still little, so I’m hoping with the practice now, it will continue as they get older and busier. I think the uninterrupted, face-to-face time will be very valuable as life goes on!
  • John: Dinnertime was inviolate – our one meal together as a family. No phones were allowed at the table and if the phone rang while we were eating, we let it ring…. and ring…..and ring. We didn’t answer any phones or initiate any calls/texts during dinner – and it didn’t matter who was calling. It made them uncomfortable at first, but they got used to it. The boys helped with dishes after dinner and they also learned how to say the blessing before dinner.Sometimes we’d have to wait and eat very late (even on school nights) – after practices, games, etc… It didn’t matter. We were going to eat as a family and we were all going to eat the same thing at the same time. They didn’t have to finish everything, but there were no “substitutes.” If the meal wasn’t finished, there was no dessert, after dinner snacks, etc… We don’t have “picky eaters” and now, as adults, they’re willing to try most things.And, during dinner, we played a game: “high/low.” We went around the table and everyone shared their highs/lows of the day. When they had friends over, they enjoyed playing, too.

 

What are your favorite tips? Share yours in the comments. And, you can answer this 3 question survey about your own life balance wheel to share your successes and challenges with me.

xoxo Ella

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