Slow it Down: A “How-to” Guide

Living simply is hard to do in today’s rush-everywhere communities. We all talk about it and try to simplify, but the pace of our days is out of our control; ingrained our modern-world DNA… Or is it?

I think it is possible to alter that pace. Travel School is the basis for how our family spends quality time together.  Eliminating imposing other-school-schedules, we slow down the clock and become present for ourselves and our children.  We encourage our kids to wander, experiment, sleep in if they can. Their emotional growth depends on having time to process their thoughts, invent their dreams and imagine their potential in the world.

Creating space in our days allows for self-reflection and self-awareness*.

We try to say no to outside commitments as much as possible and even schedule “down” time.  I have no problem banning electronics (phones/games) for a period of time, then see what creativity occurs.  Everyone I know is grappling in some way with their relationship to technology, or with their relationships because of it.  Internet woes, endless apps and social media are certainly not going away, so we have to make efforts to keep ourselves in balance.

Remember life before cell phones? Sophia taught Oliver how to knit on the bridge-deck of CORTADO, what feels like a long, long time ago. Not a lot of knitting happening these days.  Sports take up a lot of our free time, which is such a positive source of high-vibe energy for our kids. And for us, too.

We can embrace “busy” when it is a positive force.

 

Make family time count. Demand family time with your kids.  Enjoy them with phones off, run errands together, play games, talk. Honor the changes that are happening in their lives. For us, homeschooling is a palimpsest – with its malleable structure, we can make changes as our kids change.  We scrape clean and re-write the plan, or what we like to call “seasons”,  of our kids’ interests as often as they need.  The fluid motion of parenting, playing, teaching and learning is in constant flux, and that is a good thing.

Having family adventures is more than a priority, it is a mission. Travel takes kids out of their life “bubble” and instills confidence.

Teenagers are so often criticized for being self-obsessed. Instead, teach them to become self-aware.  

How does Self-Aware compare with Self-Obsessed?

Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.” – by Gary van Warmerdam. (https://www.pathwaytohappiness.com/self-awareness.htm)

Self-Obsession is being excessively preoccupied with one’s own life and circumstances; thinking only about oneself.  (dictionary.com)

These are clearly quite different; Slow it all down, so you, and your teen, can know the distinction. 

 

10 Comments Add yours

  1. I think the controversy over technology in our society is somewhat silly, to be honest. My husband and I are software developers and see every single day how vast numbers of people are getting automated out of jobs. In the news, it’s always about companies like Amazon replacing warehouse workers with robots, which is not at all complete picture of the problem. The software we write replaces accountants, commodities traders, pretty much any middle manager. These are people who went to graduate school, not just minimum wage earners. There is no way in the world that I would raise our child without a significant background in technology. It’s like not teaching a child to read. That’s just setting them up for a very low standard of living, and it’s depressing to think parents would choose that for their kids. But I know more than a few granola homeschoolers who are doing exactly that now.

    That said, social media is a problem. But it’s hardly only a problem for children. And it’s not really a “technology” problem either. That’s like blaming food for being obese. You need food to survive, but it’s hard to say you are pounding Little Debbie cupcakes to survive. I tell my friends all the time that you cannot micromanage / ban your child into being a certain kind of person. You don’t build character by removing free will. But you can set an example. Your kid is not going to become a reader if they don’t see you reading. Your kid is not going to pick up Jane Austen if they only see you reading Cosmopolitan. Your kid is not going to pass up video games for a hike if they did not grow up in an active family. If they see a mother who gets sacked out on Chardonnay in front of the television after work every day, of course they are going to treat social media the same way after their own responsibilities for the day are complete. A lot of mothers use the language of addiction to describe technology because that’s a whole lot easier than talking about what your family values and being accountable for choices.

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    1. Lynne Rey says:

      I really love what you wrote here, and I apologize – because I think it got lost in my system for some time. This is so good, and so important: “Your kid is not going to become a reader if they don’t see you reading. Your kid is not going to pick up Jane Austen if they only see you reading Cosmopolitan. Your kid is not going to pass up video games for a hike if they did not grow up in an active family. If they see a mother who gets sacked out on Chardonnay in front of the television after work every day, of course they are going to treat social media the same way after their own responsibilities for the day are complete. A lot of mothers use the language of addiction to describe technology because that’s a whole lot easier than talking about what your family values and being accountable for choices.” Thank you for expanding the conversation! It is one I feel strongly about, without a doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gigi Chirolis says:

    Hi Lynne, I so enjoy reading about your adventures! Such an amazing family! Hope to see you all next time your in Miami!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynne Rey says:

      Thank you Gigi! We will find you in Miami this winter! xx

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  3. Grandpa Jim says:

    So glad to read you have time managed in favor of the family together. Sophie and Oliver will remember this forever. It will shape their futures to positivity instead of the temptations of negativity.
    Grandpa Jim💪🏾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynne Rey says:

      Jim, you are so right. This time goes by so fast, as you know. It is a real balance to manage teens, sports, friends and family, but we are doing our best! Hope to see you soon this fall. xo

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  4. Mike Zani says:

    Lynne – Conley and I read your post this morning over coffee. It sent us back to the days when we lived with the kids on our boat and home schooled. SO many truths to your guide. Thank you. It is hard to do when not on your own island as the world just seems to attack you with its full court press. You make home schooling seem easy breezy. Kudos to you and the kids for finding a groove – as it can be hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol Cronin says:

    What a lovely post. Even without kids to raise, it’s hard to slow down these days. Thanks for the inspiration, and a little direction, on doing so!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christopher Sheehan says:

    Love following along!

    Like

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