Screens, Sleep, and Squash: Moving Toward Tension Free Parenting

Tension Free Parenting on Colored Background
Screens, Sleep, and Squash: Moving Toward Tension Free Parenting

Parenting: don’t be a fun buster! I am learning that the best thing we can give our kids is a fun, happy, tension free home filled with thoughtful gestures and kindness. (I’m still working on all of this).

Personally, I’m learning that hyper focusing on screens, or food, or bedtimes, does not create the healthy environment we think it does. It makes parenting less enjoyable than it should be. I haven’t always thought this. I’m learning. From mentors.

I think focusing on these things creates distance between us and our children and gives us something easier and more tangible to focus on when parenting, than our relationship with our kids.

I am learning to CHILL OUT! I’m taking everything down a notch to enjoy my time with my kids, and to get to know them for who they are. Our lives are so much healthier now than five years ago when I jumped on the bandwagons of controlling food, sleep, and screens.

This doesn’t mean we dine on Twix and Cheese Puffs while watching TV until our eyes bleed. Parenting and creating a peaceful home is different than being a doormat, I’m learning.  Nor does this mean we irresponsibly avoid stressful situations- just that we don’t artificially create them. We are not living in a chaotic free for all. Quite the opposite.

Before changing the way we live with our kids our lives were filled with chaos. We had lessons to attend, social plans we felt uncomfortable canceling, vegetables to force down, and the ever present guilt that came with any time spent on a screen. This created so much tension. I was not a nice mom. Parenting was hard- miserable, in fact. The pressure of all of this was a lot, and my kids paid the price. “Peace” was not a word we could use to describe our home, or our family.

There were several things that happened that helped us to see another way. We were introduced to a different way of living. We moved. We learned to tune out expectations and tune into our kids and ourselves.

The calmness that has replaced the fighting is far more valuable to me than demanding my child eat three more bites, or having the parenting controls turn off my child’s tablet right in the middle of a show they are watching.

If you are totally pissed off reading this message and think I don’t get the seriousness of our food situation or screens, I encourage you to spend time thinking about that. Because I do get it. I’m saying all of this even though I get it. If you can objectively and/or critically think about these words, you might see it too. I never thought I would.