I love my kids more than anything, and I’d be willing to bet you feel the same about yours. We make sure they have clean clothes, lots of toys, healthy meals, and everything else we think they need and deserve. But could we be overlooking a major need?
It’s easy to get caught up in other responsibilities and forget to spend quality time with our kids. And as our lives become more and more dependent on technology, it begs the question: are we ok with how technology influences our parenting?
It’s all too easy to say you’re just checking one email and get sucked down the rabbit hole of social media. I’ve definitely struggled with this a lot more since starting to blog since most of my work is online. When you add in laundry, meals, cleaning, etc., it’s easy to see how the day slips away!
There are distractions out there for all of us. Mine may be different from yours, but the outcome is the same. Our kids get ignored!
Are Our Kids Acting Out or Begging for Our Attention?
Something I’ve noticed (and read about through studies like this one) is how much better my kids behave when I spend quality time with them. I’m sure we’ve all known someone, child OR adult, that obviously acts in a negative way to get attention. It seems obvious that our kids would do the same, right? After all, whose attention and approval does anyone crave more in the world than that of their parents.
I think it comes down to our connection and feeling “seen”. When Lulu feels connected to me, she naturally wants to cooperate more. If her only experiences that day are seeing me on the phone and then yelling at her to stop misbehaving, it won’t hold as much weight.
More important than the behavior we see, is the feeling behind it. Not having a chunk of undivided attention from parents each day leaves kids feeling unseen and unimportant. I know that’s the last thing any of us want to make our kids feel.
Now, this isn’t to say we need to devote 100% of our day to focusing on our kids. I truly believe kids need to be bored in order to really get creative. And it’s super healthy for them to be able to entertain themselves. But there has to be a balance!
Desiring to raise independent kids doesn’t mean they live their lives and we live ours. I’ve found what works best for my kids is when I pay attention to them for a bit, then we do independent activities for a bit. They feel loved from our interaction, and therefore behave SO much better afterwards.
Kids Are Cooler Challenge
Since we’ve established that we need to balance time spent focused on our kids with everything else, how do we make sure to fit that time in each day? Even more so, if we’re fighting a social media addiction (and many of us are!), how do we form new habits?
I’ve come up with a challenge I’m officially dubbing the Kids Are Cooler challenge. I made a 30 day calendar full of simple activities for us to do with our kids each day sans technology.
It’s almost January, so now is the perfect time to plan this out as a New Years resolution! However, I didn’t put a specific month on the calendar because it can be done at any point in the year. You can even start today!
My thinking behind this challenge is that it’s a lot easier to stick to a change when it’s planned out. I have already many times said, ok no phone today! Just to get stuck on it way longer than intended AGAIN. I’d bet that’s happened to a lot of us. So I recommend putting your phone in an entirely different room during this time together.
Completing the Challenge
The month starts out with shorter activities, only requiring 10 minutes or so. As the month goes on, the activities get more involved or time-consuming. My hope is that as we intentionally spend time with our kids, we remember how much cooler they are than our phones.
I enjoy my phone, but I wouldn’t die for it, sacrifice sleep and sanity for it, or cry because it learned something new. So why would I want to spend more time with it than my kids? I have no doubt all you mamas think your kids are the bomb, too.
Through this challenge, we can set aside a small part of our day to focus on nothing other than our sweet babies. It will make them feel loved, and it will make us feel more fulfilled as well.
Don’t forget to sign up below to have your own Kids Are Cooler Monthly Challenge sent right to your inbox! Print it out, and cross off activities as you complete them. Do them out-of-order, switch out activities for ones you like more… whatever! Just use it as a reminder and to keep track of the time spent with your kiddos each day.
In addition to the filled in calendar, I also included an empty to add your own activities! You could even laminate it and reuse for months to come. As a bonus, you’ll also find 20 extra ideas for ways to bond with your kiddos. Just subscribe below for all 3 freebies 😊
Sign up below to have your Kids Are Cooler calendar sent right to your email!
Let’s do this together!
Let’s all build each other up and encourage each other as we go through this challenge! A great place to do that is my new Facebook group, Kids Crafts For Real.
We share the crafts our kids are really making, not the pinterest perfect ones you normally see. All the hilarious, hilariously awful, super sweet, and unbelievably awesome stuff our little weirdos make for us.
Head over there to show us what you and you’re kiddos are up to during your quality time together. I can’t wait to see how much FUN you are having!