Do you find this world is becoming toxic? I am not trying to be negative but simply, I find that so many aspects of our lives are becoming artificial, techno-based and addictive. From food to social media to the need for stimulation and recognition we are all seeking hollow, artificial input. Like an artificially produced toxin, much of our life transpires in a pressurized, artificial and technical realm.
Sadly parenting is much the same. Instead of parenting our little ones in a simple, natural and slow milieu, we are hothousing them in a world that bears little resemblance to the one we grew up in.
Most little ones have to compete with technology and machines for mom’s attention. They have a diet that one would battle to trace to its roots and the pressure on them to excel and on us to ensure they ‘maximize’ every opportunity feels increasingly negative for the development of happy, well adjusted human beings.
While there is a time and place for pressure, quick fixes, and virtual interactions, I do think that we need to focus on getting back to basics and giving our kids a little more SLOW time.
Here are 15 ways to shed toxic parenting and get back to basics:
- Decrease the level of stimulation you are giving your little one for one week and rather just spend time sitting under a tree or on a picnic blanket doing ‘nothing’
- Stop TV altogether for babies under 1 and limit it to a DVD for 1 hour a day for toddlers
- Make your own meals and know where the ingredients came from – you can make up a big pot and freeze for convenience but for one week say no to pre-packed convenience food
- Trust nature a little more to ensure your little one will develop his milestones
- Don’t use your microwave for a week
- Do not buy a single toy this month – rather use household objects and ‘toys’ from nature
- Stop weighing and measuring your baby, unless last month there were problems and be very careful not to label problems where there are not
- Don’t be super mom – and avoid those who are (the reality is that they are not super mom but if they make you feel like they are – they are not good for you)
- Put an out of office on your email for two weeks: “Thank you for your email, in an attempt to be a ‘present’ mommy, I need space and so there may be a delay in my email responses.”
- Forget perfect – it’s boring and impossible
- Do not work in maternity leave – its precious time -over before you know it and I promise your work will wait!
- Do not schedule more than one social engagement a weekend.
- Your baby won’t fit into your ‘old’ life – you can all fit into your ‘new life’
- Limit scheduled classes to once a week for babies under a year of age, 2 per week for toddlers and a maximum of three a week for preschoolers.
- Turn your cell phone off at 7 pm and leave it downstairs – spend that time with your partner – the person you need to connect with and who probably gets the least of you….
In a nutshell, leave the pressure cooker behind and put on the kettle, have a cup of tea and SLOW down.