We live in a frenetic world. We are constantly on the run. The pace of life seems to have at least tripled since I was a child free to ride my bike until the street lights came on. Now, we have places to be and the digital clock always makes us feel late. Our children have calendars that would rival most adult appointment books. What is your day like after the alarm sounds in the morning? Get the kids to school. Go where you are expected – work or appointments & errands. Grab the kids. Go to lessons or sports. Get to that play date. Do homework. Eat dinner. Prepare for the next day. It happens all week – over and over again. STOP!! Take a minute. It’s time for a parental time out.
There are a few times a year when we look at our loved ones and truly feel grateful or blessed. It tends to be around birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. We also appreciate what we have when tragedy strikes and we realize all we could lose. As soon as those days are over, we go back to the ADHD pace of our society and the fear that we aren’t squeezing enough into our days to ensure that our children are enriched. Parents want to give their children every opportunity and there are endless numbers of activities geared toward children in which you can enroll. Simply playing in the backyard is rapidly being a thing of the past. School systems concerned with their test scores and federal dollars pressure students and parents to produce a product that looks good on paper but really has little to do with how children learn and become thinkers. And the hamster wheel that we are all on keeps turning….
The statistics about burnout and stress levels in both adults and children are frightening. Google it and you will find a seemingly endless number of articles about symptoms of burnout and stress. Again, I plead with you – STOP!! TIME OUT!! DON’T MOVE!!
Look around and breathe deeply. Every day, take a moment to close your eyes and count your blessings. It is a blessing to wake up every day. It is wonderful to have family and friends with whom we share good times and bad. Our children, though sometimes challenging, teach us about unconditional love, patience, the beauty of youth and the wonder of the cycle of life. We get to watch everything in the world again through their eyes. Perhaps if we can all remember to take a moment each day for a parental time out – a meditation on our blessings – we will find ourselves more grounded and less frantic.
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Copyright 2013 © Cindy Terebush
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