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Our kids are begging for a break.
We are piling way too much physical, emotional and social clutter into our children’s lives every day.
By filling our children’s lives with extra-curricular activities and scheduled playdates, we are forcing them to squeeze little moments of childhood into the small margins of their lives.
In fact, we have so few moments that aren’t scheduled that many of us don’t even eat meals together on a regular basis.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are four steps to take to simplify your child’s life today!
1. Cut activities they don’t enjoy
So many of us have bought in to the lie that in order to be successful our children must be involved in as many different activities as possible.
But this simply isn’t true.
Don’t sacrifice your child’s peace for the sake of producing a “well-rounded” adult.
Instead, let your kids choose one or two extracurriculars that they truly enjoy.
They’ll be more likely to excel at those things and they’ll build closer relationships with the other children and adults involved as their commitment deepens.
2. Slash Screen Time
Imagine what your children could do with that time, which adds up to a full work week of internet use every seven days.
Extra time in the sunshine.
And time learning essential life skills.
Want to see your kids become more engaged with each other, more creative with their time and more agreeable?
Seriously, just do it.
And mama, we have to lead by example with this one.
3. Toss Junk Toys
That’s 238 things to trip over, 238 things to put away and 238 things to dust.
But worst of all, that’s 238 things to choose from every time your child wants to play.
This amount of physical clutter means that children are spending less time imagining, creating and interacting and more time making unnecessary choices.
As a result, instead of relieving stress, our children’s play things are adding to it.
Keep only those toys that encourage imaginative play.
Blocks, dress-up clothes, dolls, miniature vehicles and basic craft supplies are all good choices since they lend themselves to multiple uses, age ranges and open-ended play.
Toss, donate or sell the rest.
4. End Draining Friendships
Help your child make wise decisions about who to spend this limited time with by kindly but firmly ending friendships that are harmful to them.
Just say no to playdates with bullies, children who encourage them to make wrong choices and those who are emotionally manipulative.
This will save your family time, stress and unimaginable consequences in the future.
Clear The Detrimental To Make Room For The Essential
We want to give our children the resources they need to have the brightest possible futures.
And what they actually need is time to spend together as a family, and time to simply be kids.
But that can’t happen if every moment and every surface are occupied, planned and accounted for.
Once you curate your kids’ toy collection, rein in extracurricular activities, and take back control of screen time, more time and space for the real work of childhood will emerge.
High quality playtime.
So make space in your children’s environment and schedules today, right now, by eliminating activities they don’t enjoy, getting rid of screen time and clearing out junk toys.
Then watch as your kids fill that time and space with meaningful focused play and engagement with the people and world around them.
What ways have you found to simplify life for your kids? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!