Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Secrets of a Happy, Healthy Family??

I hope you don't mind if I solicit help for an article on here every once in a while. I'm working on a story for a magazine about having a happy, healthy family. I'm looking for anecdotes from parents about things they've done to make their family content, fulfilled, and healthy. I'm especially looking for a family who pared back their children's schedules to restore some sanity in their family's life. Like dropped art lessons or cut out soccer. If you have such a tale, pls. post a comment in next day or two.

Other tips welcome! I really appreciate your help.

-SBS

8 comments:

Carolina John said...

Nobody's happy if mama's not happy. learned that one early on after we had kids. Unfortunately, ours aren't old enough to have to make the kind of choices you're looking for. sorry.

TinaGirl said...

last year we had something going EVERY SINGLE DAY AFTER SCHOOL. It was wonderful for them to be doing things they loved but I felt so disconnected so this year its one activity one day after school til baseball starts in March. What a difference. They are home getting their homework done without fuss, playing games like chess and checkers while I make dinner, talking to eachother and to me, making time to read other than at bed time. Let me tell you that peace is the perfect word for how wonderful fall has been. We are so connected its amazing.

Naomi said...

fulfilled and healthy ...

it's always easier said than done, but I am a firm believer in quiet time for everyone.

Doesn't matter what is going on in our day, everyone (including mama) NEEDS quiet time in their room.

Make a basket of books, a tablet/crayons and a special "snuggly" that stays hidden until it's quiet time.

Kids will actually crave that time .. but it needs to be instituted and pushed by the parent.

30 minutes ... bliss. It's like the "refresh" button gets set.

Julie said...

We are trying to teach our daughters how to make hard choices in choosing their activities, in an effort to keep it down to a reasonable amount.

Funny story on this, a few weeks ago my oldest daughter who is in a full-time preschool that offers numerous "extra" activities through the day tells me on the drive home that she wants to sign up for karate. I told her we could talk about it but she would need to drop something else since she is already going to spanish, dance and a stretch-n-grow class. She said, well I don't want to drop anything so I guess I won't take karate. I then told her that I did want her to take karate one of these days, because Mommy took karate as a kid and loved it. Her next question "and what did YOU have to give up for karate Mommy?" :) It made me laugh. This smart little girl is not yet 5 and she is learning the values of priorities and making choices.

VTGirl said...

My kids participate in soccer in the Fall, baseball in the Spring and Hershey track in the Summer. But Winter is for family. We don't make any commitments so we can have family snowshoe, x-c skiing and sledding outings with lots of hot cocoa and popcorn in between.

Jen1213 said...

My son has a language disorder, so we are often at speech therapy or occupational therapy to address his needs. In addition, he really needs plenty of social time, so we signed him up for different activities. With another child in an equal number of activities, we were stretched to the limit, without even noticing it. The 'fun' stuff wasn't as fun because it was just more scheduled stuff. So we limited them each to one activity at a time, and sometimes only one child will be involved in something, while the other is not. This has actually given me time with the other child on the sidelines just to 'chat' while we watch his sibling participate in an activity. Or for instance, while I watch my son at tumbling class, my husband will take my other son swimming at the Y. Everyone is 'doing' an activity, but it isn't pressured! We try to stay active, but that doesn't mean you have to be signed up for something.

Darcy said...

COMMUNICATION! Nightly talks with our kids about their today, their tomorrow, and anything else they want to talk about. Nightly talks with each other about the same things - the day, the tomorrow, the weekend. And plan a quality family activity for the weekend... it gives everyone something to look forward to. A hike, a picnic, movie night, kayaking, a bike ride! Even if its just 2 hours of quality time, it makes everyone happy!

Susan Kokesh said...

Spend some quiet, quality time, each day, alone with each child. Even if it is only 15 minutes, that quality time together really seems to bring peace and love and calm to our home. It can be reading books, having a heart to heart discussion over a snack, playing a card game, or some serious soul-bearing during the bedtime tuck in process. Each child, given that focused one-on- one time, feels calmed and loved on their own terms. For me as a busy mom of a 4.5 yo girl, and a 12.5 yo (6th grade) boy, this seems to be an important part of our day. The housework can wait. Nobody ever looks back on their time with their kids and says, "Wow, I wish I would have dusted the house more". Thought provoking. Blessings,
Susan Kokesh