A guide to the benefits of living a slow lifestyle

The days when boys were taught a trade and girls were taught how to care for a family and run a household by the time they were of age are long over. In those days, children worked hard, but life moved at a slower pace, and one’s personal family was central to every day life. Family life in today’s society is strikingly different.

Today’s parents are bombarded with countless options from well-meaning educational institutions touting all the latest information, skill sets, and experiences for children in order to give one’s child the very best. It is not surprising that parents feel pressured to enlist their child in two to three after-school clubs or lessons, as well as provide their child with all the latest in gadgets and toys.

While extracurricular classes and clubs can be beneficial, maintaining a healthy balance in knowing when your child has taken on too much is essential to keeping childhood stress at bay, as well as ensuring quality of life for one’s family. From time with personal family, to a good amount of time spent outdoors enjoying nature, to time spent developing character; parents must be the safeguard to ensure that the overall balance of what they consider important is present in their child’s life.

Here are a few tips to help decrease the pace of life for you and your child if things have been getting hectic:

• Cut back on extracurricular club activities to one per child. Decide on soccer club, or the swimming team—not both.

•  Designate one afternoon a week as being a TV and computer free afternoon. Unplug your TV set, gather your family into the living room, pull out board games, and enjoy each other’s company.

Or, during the summer months when the sun sets at a later time, pack a picnic dinner, and go to a park to enjoy dinner outside and some after dinner outdoor fun.

• Monitor the amount of play dates that your child commits to. While you want your child to have friends and spend time with his or her peers, your child also needs time with you. Evaluate whether your child is getting sufficient time with you and his or her personal family when deciding on play dates or sleepovers with friends.

Slowing down and filtering all that your child is exposed to on a daily basis is an action that takes great maturity as a parent. However, it is one that will reap rewards, as your child is freed to enjoy his or her childhood years at a leisurely pace, and you are able to enjoy watching your child as he or she grows with minimal stress and pressure, as you both create memories that will last long after the childhood years are over.