Slow Parenting : What exactly is it?

Ahhh parenting. Such a blessing and also like another full time job.

Your weekend swings around and in the old days, you'd be nursing an epic hangover in bed with a quick trip to Macca's to try and make your very delicate stomach feel so much better. After a few hours sleep, it'd be a quick cheap wine and you'd be back out again Saturday night.

These days, it's more like a kids birthday party in the morning, followed by swimming lessons, maybe a playdate, homework time and a park trip.

When we stop and think about this common routine, who's choice is it really? For over achievers or people who thrive on being "busy" it's natural to over-schedule, even on the weekends. But whatever happened to the weekend being family time, and sacred time for togetherness?

Cue, slow parenting.

Slow parenting is basically about "learning how to stop the rush and prioritise quality over quantity when it comes to family time". It's all about slowing down, having the kids cruise at a natural pace rather than the common rush

Slow parenting is taking the time to “…just watch [your] children whether they are playing, doing homework, or eating a snack. Take a moment to drink them in…because that pause alone, even if momentary, can drive a shift in pace.”

Changing your approach can be as simple as creating a few family rituals. It might be park time together, or in my family it was a Sunday afternoon early dinner. Or, absolutely nothing. Just being at home with no scheduled plans.

Have you ever noticed after a Saturday of running round, kids are tired and cranky? Slow parenting allows you to hang out, unwind and be spontaneous.

A study published in the Journal of School Health found that there’s a direct link between perceived levels of stress amongst family members and kids’ desire for more free time. The research also says that kids experience less activity-related stress when they don’t over-commit.

I've practiced slow parenting for a long time. I'm a big believer as I think kids can get tired and burned out from being booked into too many activities and who are they really for?

My kids have always had one activity they do each season, and then life revolves around us as a family unit. Not the actual myriad of extra curricular activities. Their father and I have always bee very conscious of this and not creating extra stress on them or us.

Next weekend maybe try a little slow parenting and see how it sits with your family.

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