5.08.2012

Mom Challenge

 Dear Mom's

Today I am composing a challenge. Mostly for myself, but somewhat for Mom's too.

The challenge is to replace the internet/phone with your little one.

The biggest complaint of elementary schoolers is that their parents spend too much time on their computer/phone to actually appreciate their children. They feel ignored, hurt, overwhelmed by the fact that technology replaces them. And though our toddlers and babies can't talk well enough to describe the fact that they, too, are more often ignored than not- the fact is that it is a growing problem.

Use the internet today to plan out activities to do with your little one throughout the week. Go on pinterest and look up activities to do with your toddlers, babies, children that are fun and engaging... Don't set them down and walk away... Take part. Help them explore.

And don't do this for one day.

Do this for one month. (okay do it for 18 years!)

Take the challenge.

There are rules that apply to this challenge.

1. You may use your phone for appointment scheduling/emergency/spouse talking/parent talking, but all conversations must have a purpose. (If you are far away from your family and they call- of course that should be taken into account.. but keep it reasonable).

2. Internet can be used for the sole purpose of finding activities to do with your little ones. Look up local jumping areas/bounce houses where you can take your little one's to get some energy out.

3. Go to the park every day that the weather permits. Or something like a park.

4. Let them be helping hands. Teach them about clean up- cooking- cleaning- organizing. Teach them about taking care of themselves.

5. Bath time with toys at least 3 times during the week (as long as there isn't a medical condition that prevents this)- there is a recipe on pinterest of soap paints for the bath tub. They use baby soap and food coloring, I believe... And get out some paint brushes... let them have fun! Bubbles galore! Put down some towels and let them splash. Don't get mad when they get you wet... and if they need a bubble beard- let them have one. Rub shaving gel on the shower walls and make art! Do bathtime at the end of the day about an hour before bed-time for the extra benefits of a good nights sleep.

6. Read a book or sing a song to them for as long as they want before bedtime- as many times as they want (within reason).

7. Talk to them- all the time. Even if they are infants. Talk to them about what you are doing, about colors and shapes and sizes. Talk to them about the things you see when you are out and about. Talk to them about the experiences you have. Draw pictures for them to see of what you are going to do together that day (great for autistic little ones)- map out the whole day on a piece of paper with a pen in sketches and point to each one and talk about it. This can prepare them for the day ahead, especially if it isn't their 'typical' day.

8. Use the computer after bedtime or during nap-time. Then, turn it off. Do not go back to it at all costs. It is trying to steal your month away from you.

9. Go to the local pool or something similar at least once during the month. Check out the children's museum's nearby, or aquariums. Do something that you don't normally get to do!

10. Say I love you- a lot.

11. Don't sweat the small stuff. Spilled milk, peed pants, blown up diaper, screaming fit for thirty minutes, smile and keep moving on. Destress your life, destress your child's life. Simple as that.

The challenge is meant to bring you to a closer spot with your little one. To appreciate each other more fully.... To realize- maybe- that technology shouldn't be a centerfold in your relationship with your little one.

If you take the challenge- don't let it stop after a month. Incorporate it into your life. :)

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