I was looking thru some photos earlier this week and came across this picture of Megan’s daughter, Lyla Gray, with my daughter, Emma Kate, from a few years ago. This was a candid shot that Pitts captured after a Shrimp & Grits Kids photo shoot earlier in the afternoon. The girls were being silly, having fun wearing these readers they found. We all have laughed about how they look like two old souls in this image. It is so true…like our own little glimpse into the future.
When I saw this picture Tuesday, I started thinking about how although these girls look like little old souls, they are still so young and so innocent. The world is so full of ideas that are too large for them to understand, opinions that not important for them to hear, and negativity that they should never be exposed to. As their mother, I have a responsibility to shield them from harm and protect them from matters that would only serve to cause more damage than good. I realized that I have to make some steps to also protect myself from the constant negativity and to focus on what brings joy to my life and subsequently, their lives. I would love to share just a couple of ideas we have implemented in our home in regards to technology and I would love your feedback on what works in your homes!
My husband travels every week for business, so family time on the weekend is of utmost importance to us. With his job commitments and my responsibilities to social media, sometimes we find ourselves easily distracted and sucked in to the technology world. We have a ground rule for Friday nights: No cell phones! The girls can pick game night or movie night, we order take out, and all phones and devices are put away. It has become a tradition my girls enjoy and look forward to. It allows us all uninterrupted time to connect, to laugh, and to enjoy one another.
Another big one for me is not being on the cell phone when I pick my girls up from school. While I don’t think there is an official rule, it is definitely frowned upon at their school to be chatting on your phone when you pick up. It is a big personal no-no for me. I actually really get sad when I see parents on the phone during pick up. For my girls and me, our time in the car after school serves as an important time to connect and for the girls to share their day, one at a time, before we move on to the next activity. We have some basic questions every day that include: Tell me the highs and lows of your day. Also: How did you fill someone else’s bucket today and how was your bucket filled today? This is the time of day when they are most excited to tell me what has happened at school and I do not want these moments tarnished with distractions.
We have a few other traditions that I will not bore you with, but I sure would LOVE to hear what works in your family! It sounds like a simple idea to just put the phone down for specific times and maybe you don’t need designated times, but in an effort to be present, remove myself from the negativity taking over social media, and give back to my children, it is a nonnegotiable for me! If you have some fun ideas that you have incorporated into your household, please take a minute to share a comment below and I would love to blend some of your ideas into future blog posts.
Make the moments count. Children do not keep and time does not repeat.