First things first
Thank you to those of you who let us know your responses to our weekly blogs. Mostly, you are letting us know that we are hitting our mark. Sometimes, you are helping us to see where we went a bit sideways.
We want you to know that our intention in sending our weekly messages is to offer up strategies to support families through their everyday challenges. We feel that it is important to draw awareness to the fact that these struggles are normal – it is NORMAL for families to have ups and downs; for kids to misbehave; for parents to make mistakes. This is life. This is how we learn and grow.
We are suggesting that you find what is right for your family at this moment and take it or leave it depending on whether it fits you. You don’t have to do it all. You need to do what makes sense for you.
We are about guilt-free, shame-free parenting.
How much time is there in one week? 168 hours.
Yes, even in June, there are 168 hours in each week.
When we shared thoughts about clearly setting out study time for teens who are facing exams this month, we hit a sore spot with some readers. One family felt that homework/studying was the responsibility of schools, that students should be doing more of their school work and studying during school time and that this was one more thing that parents were being asked to cram into a very tight schedule. One more thing that they weren’t doing well enough.
Our focus for June is #ThereIsAlwaysTime. We know it doesn’t always feel that way. So this week, we wanted to make that point a little further.
It is easy to put more and more on our schools’ plates. The reality is, our kids are only at school for about 35 hours a week. During that time, they are being educated, exercising, socializing, studying, eating, Schools have taken over teaching many items that were once taught in families (sexual education, swimming, healthy eating, to name a few). It is tricky to imagine them taking on much more in the time they have.
We all have the same amount of time. It is up to us to decide how we will use it. If kids are spending 35 hours at school, 70 hours a week sleeping, 7 hours a week on screens, and 10 hours a week eating with us, then that leaves 46 hours a week for other things.
Forty-six hours for soccer, homework, reading, interacting, sharing values, doing chores, learning to play independently, catching up with relatives and friends, and doing absolutely nothing at all.
We aren’t saying that parents need to be spending 46 hours a week with their kids. Parents have other things to do too. We are saying that each of us has the opportunity to get clear about how we are currently using those 46 hours and how we might like to be using them instead.
For many families, the 35 hours of school/week are going to be disappearing for the summer. Some will have kids registered in activities and others will have kids at home. We’ll talk a bit more next week about how to handle the 81 hours a week of free time for kids staying home all summer.
This week, ask yourself:
How are we using our 46 hours a week?
How would we like to be using them?
Where are we losing time that we just don’t realise?
Do we need to put some structure into place to make changes?