There are certain choices we make as parents that impact our families and our children in profound ways. Sometimes these choices are methodical, well-planned and intentional and other times we just happen to get lucky. Last month, we made a decision that was a healthy dose of both and it was THE BEST DECISION we made in regards to our family, hands down, ALL YEAR!
The BEST Parenting Decision We Made All Year! [#38Minutes Re-Cap]
On November 6, 2017, we decided to reclaim family time in our home by challenging ourselves to spend #38Minutes together doing something super fun EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for an entire year. (Read more about why we chose #38Minutes here). I wasn’t sure if we were geniuses or idiots when we began. I also wasn’t sure how it would all work out or whether we would be able to commit to an entire year but I knew we had to at least try and, man, am I thankful that we did. This challenge hasn’t been easy but it has been incredibly worthwhile. The amount of positive change our family has experienced this past month is nothing short of monumental and I am so excited for what is to come in 2018.
Challenging ourselves to put our devices down and be more intentional about spending quality time together each day has brought us so much closer together. I have learned more about my kids in the past 30 days than I did the rest of the entire year combined. My kids are openly sharing their daily happenings upon arriving home from school, they are spontaneously playing board games and playing outside versus on their phones or closed off in their individual rooms like zombies plugged into video games or an iPad. And, overall everyone’s moods have been MUCH more pleasant.
It is seriously like a magic pill. I am NOT even kidding!
In fact, my big kids (boys ages 15, 13 & 11) are even participating 100% in all our Christmas goofiness. It’s AMAZING!! Check out a few of our recent Holiday Videos. These same kids were hiding from the camera when we started. They would only do challenge videos. Not anymore. They keep talking about how much they love our family. You guys I am tearing up writing this. Teens just don’t act this sweet usually, teen moms you know what I mean, right?
Although, our challenge has transformed a little as we have moved forward. So, what has changed? We are doing less epic crazy challenges. In the beginning, these types of challenges were the ONLY way we could get the older two to buy into our challenge. We found that these insane crazy family games, while fun, were also MESSY, EXPENSIVE, and a bit complicated. Not that we won’t ever do these types of challenges again, we did really have fun with them. I think we will just space them out a little more. See below for an example of that type of challenge.
What are we doing instead? Well, we are embracing ordinary moments and trying our best to spin them so that they are extraordinary. Mostly, this includes allowing the kids to be part of the planning process. Turns out our kids are pretty amazing and they have great ideas and input when we actually listen to them with our full attention. Things are also more fluid and happening more organically versus having to be completely planned out which is a beautiful thing to see.
It is my hope that as we continue with our challenge we move forward in really bonding with our kids and embracing the short time we get as parents with them under our roof. Trust me, mamas of littles, it goes by way too fast! It is also my hope that other families will join us in 2018, maybe make it a new years resolution, to be more intentional with family time and purposefully limiting time on electronic devices (parents we are included in those limitations too!).