Category: Parenting Encouragement

Distraction-Free Parenting {FREE Challenge}

Distraction-Free Parenting {FREE Challenge}

Just last week in our Facebook group, I took a poll about parenting goals. Which of these mean the most to you?

  • Additional family time
  • Extra adventures (travel & day trips)
  • Fewer distractions during family time
  • Greater understanding of child development
  • More emphasis on learning at home

The number one response was “fewer distractions during family time,” which got me thinking…

What does distraction-free parenting look like?


 

istraction-Free Parenting | family communication, positive parenting, fun family activities, parenting tips, family relationships


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If you’re anything like me, you might struggle with the temptation to reach for your phone during family time. It’s so common, in fact, that a whole book has been written about it!  

One of our regular family activities is going to our indoor community pool. We try to go one or two evenings a week, after my husband gets out of work. At first, I had a hard time relaxing in the water; my mind kept racing with a multitude of things to add to my to-do list.

Over the last few months, swimming has become one of my favorite ways to unwind because it’s a distraction-free zone. From the moment we arrive at the aquatic center, my phone goes into my bag and I am 100% focused on my family.

So, I am going to take the parenting lessons I have learned at the pool and spend time cultivating our family relationships phone-free. 


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Inspiring and empowering our kids starts with building authentic relationships with our kids. Trust me when I say, I’m not writing this as a perfect parent who has it all figured out. Distraction-free parenting is one of my very real struggles as a mom, and I would guess it resonates with some of you as well.

Being a work-at-home, homeschooling mama of two means that some multitasking is necessary. Sometimes, I’ll read a chapter of a book on my Kindle app while my girls play outside or pin images to Pinterest while we’re watching football on Sunday afternoons. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks while driving, and I brainstorm blog post ideas while I’m in the shower.

One of my friends recently told me that her parenting goal is to let go of the things that won’t matter in a year. This next year, I am going to focus on living a less distracted life! That means:

  • no Facebook when I should be writing
  • less Instagram during homeschool lessons
  • turning my phone off during family time

Distraction-Free Parenting Challenge

I’m inviting each of you to join me in being less distracted while we are with our families. This is a yearlong parenting challenge built on baby steps, with one small activity or idea coming your way on the first of each month. If you would like to be part of our distraction-free parenting series, just click here:

Join the challenge!

3 Tips to Make School Holidays Easier {FREE Download}

3 Tips to Make School Holidays Easier {FREE Download}

Hooray, the holidays are here! Having our children home from school (whether it’s fall break, winter break, spring break, or summer break) is a wonderful gift of time and family togetherness. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to go on fun adventures and learn through play. However, school holidays often fall during the time of year when we are inundated with extra activities and a longer-than-usual to-do list.

How do we enjoy the break while still getting things done and keeping our kids learning and happy?

Summer Survival Infographic

3 Tips to Make School Holidays Easier

Take a Break

It’s important that we build in time for kids (and ourselves!) to relax during school holidays. Getting up early, following a schedule, and doing things we don’t really enjoy can take its toll. Before your kids get out of school, block off a day or a few hours to do absolutely nothing. (YOU TOO!) Snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie, do a puzzle, or take a nap. If you know you’ll have a busy afternoon, take a slow morning. If you have a busy travel schedule, build in a “recovery day” for the entire family.

Offer Choices

Being a student is hard work. Children are told where and how to sit, when to go to the bathroom, when to eat lunch, and more. There are a lot of benefits that come from being part of a larger learning community, but our children also need to learn to self-regulate. Offering our children choices during school holidays can lead to more confidence and cooperation.

When your children are younger, offer them two choices that you like. (Would you like apple slices or applesauce with your lunch?) As they mature, you can give them a more open-ended opportunity to plan their entire lunch–or outfit or schedule, etc.

Designate a Line Leader

Several years ago, I grew tired of listening to my two children bicker constantly. I decided to use one of my tools from the classroom to make things easier on all of us: the line leader. On odd days of the month, my older daughter gets to go first in the shower, up and down the stairs, getting in and of the car, you name it. Our younger daughter gets to be line leader on even days of the month.

It sounds silly, but it can negate one hundred arguments each day. The line leader chooses the vegetable for dinner, who gets to push the cart at the grocery store, who gets dropped off first at AWANA, you name it! And of course, Mom and Dad always get a veto.

30 Winter Activity Ideas for Families | FREE School Holiday Survival Guide at flourishwithyourfamily.com

Summer or Winter?

You can click here for our summer schedule guide or scroll down below for our winter guide!


FREE School Holiday Survival Guide from Rolling Prairie Readers! Get yours at FlourishWithYourFamily.com

School Holidays Survival Guide

Over the years, I have created a handful of printables that make our home life a bit easier. I have bundled them up into a FREE downloadable guide to help your family flourish during the school holidays.

Here’s what’s included:

  • a weekly calendar template with tips for creating a flexible family schedule
  • a “menu” of more than 20 low-prep activities to keep your children happily engaged
  • lists of recommended seasonal books to grab at the library
  • a family reading log
  • our favorite resources for learning at home
  • AND seasonally-appropriate boredom busters!

30 Winter Screen-Free Boredom Busters

FREE School Holiday Survival Guide | activities for kids, family activities, holidays, raising children, fall, winter, design your day, free printables

make school holidays easier

Create a Flexible Family Schedule: Fall

Create a Flexible Family Schedule: Fall


Scroll to the bottom to get your FREE gift!


Just last week, I posted on Instagram that we had hit our summer “sweet spot.” My two girls have been getting along, playing creatively…for long periods of time…with very little direction from me.

Now it’s time to switch gears and get back to school (home school, that is). Cooler weather is coming, and so are our family routines.

For the last month or so, I’ve been reading The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families for our online Mom’s Book Club. Thanks to author Lindsay McCarthy’s wisdom, I’ve been getting up an hour earlier than usual to set the tone for the day.

Now that I’m awake earlier, we’re gradually moving toward our full fall school schedule, which will kick off officially the week of Labor Day.


Looking for our homeschool schedule? That post has moved here!


family schedule printable | free calendar template

We like to use our weekly calendar template to create our flexible family schedule!

The benefit of a flexible family schedule is that you can adjust your routines any time, regardless of the season. Some families prefer to have a full calendar, with lots of extracurricular activities…while some families prefer a more relaxed, spontaneous approach.

And then some families–or MOST families, I would imagine–are a mixture of both when it comes to their weekly schedule: some crazy busy and some that are totally light!

For that reason, I found that using a blank calendar template is best for our family. It allows me to see, at a glance, those open pockets of time where I can be a more intentional mother.

Fill in your information below, and I’ll send you a FREE copy of our calendar template, along with a menu of twenty, fun family activity ideas! This template is great for ALL families, not just homeschoolers.