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.