WHY THIS: One of the best parent tips, but a hard one to follow, says “Take a break”
Doing so has a place among my Ten Commandments for Parents. Even God rests one day a week. At least the bible tells us so:
“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work ….”
Not only did God rest, He commanded us to do the same. He must shake his head in despair at how few of us do it. Can you turn off?
The world is full of others telling us to take a break. I recently read an article on business coach Tanveer Naseer’s blog. Henry Mintzberg and Peter Todd, professors and Deans Megill University’s business school were his guests. They suggested that in today’s over connected world pushing the off button should be done with greater frequency.
Here is the quote that started me thinking, “… the strategy used by Danah Boyd of Microsoft, who periodically declares an e-mail sabbatical and ceases all electronic communication (she recommends doing it for a minimum of two weeks).”
My immediate reaction: “Two weeks? Not on your life. Maybe if I make it to 85, but two weeks unconnected–Bah, humbug.”
She has a point, however, starting with some small steps might get you to taking better care of you and modeling to your kids what really matters.
Parent Tip Number One
Figure out why you don’t disconnect electronically. Here are the common reasons:
- Delusions of granduer, meaning we think the world will not go on without us. False idea.
- An internet connection addiction stemming from needing and craving lots of affirming. Better to get that need met with real people. Needing internet contacts for affirmation may be a sign you are not getting enough at home. That is probably most true if you do more giving then taking. Disconnecting may help your at least take better care of you.
- Fear we will miss out on something. Guess what, the emails will still be waiting for us, voice messages will be there.
- Fear someone will be angry if we aren’t at their beck and call. I directed a number of crisis teams requiring 24/7 coverage. Not being available could get you fired. In time an on-call protocol was suggested and the strain was eased on all. Something to think about proposing if your outside job requires 24/7.
- And yes, I know, parenting is a 24/7 job. However, do a little reality checking. All electronically connected to your kids? When was the last time you got a true 911 call?
Parent Tip Number Two
Think more clearly about fears you might miss what I call a 911 call. By that I mean two situations:
- Your child needs your immediate help to stay physically safe? Here is a reality check for those situations. If it is a true 911 situation, calling you first only delays the right help getting to the child.he best solution remains, training your kid to call 911 first if anyone is hurt, then you and if you can’t be reached your back ups.
- Your child is stranded somewhere. Car breaks down, last bus is missed. Yes, most likely you would want to be the first person called. But be real? How often in your lifetime have you been stranded and needed someone to come and pick you up. We drive old mileage high cars. They break down, which is why we have AAA. Have had it for almost twenty years. Guess what? In all those years, we have probably had to call AAA eight or nine times. at least.
Parent Tip Number Three
Establish back-up people who can be called when you are not available. What do I mean by back-up people, certainly family in the immediate area. Then friends…a friendly neighbor the best choice as they might be available if you cannot be found.
Parent Tip Number Four
Make sure everyone in the family who carries a cell phone has ICEd it. That means all storinh essential information In In Case of Emergency is plugged into cell phones so para-medics or police stand half a chance of finding some one when an emergency renders a person unconscious.
Parent Tip Number Five
Make sure each person also carries an In Case of EmergencyCard. This should contain people to call on one side and on the reverse important medical information including medical conditions, medication, allergies, Family or Personal MD and insurance ID#. Mine has a red border and is laminated.
If you have not done the above do it now. You will gain peace of mind, keep all your family members safer, and have one less reason to take a break.
THINK ABOUT WHAT MATTERS
Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.
AS ALWAYS, PRACTICE KINDNESS
Be kind to me, like this post or share it. You will be helping me stay strong and maybe some others as well. You will also be practicing one of the 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises. Click here to view all Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises.If regular practice of the 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises does not improve the quality of your life, more might be needed. That is the time to think about therapy.
Good luck, life is a struggle, caring for children harder than you expect AND despite the struggle, life as a parent is also wonderful.Katherine