live in yesterday – a key to parenting today

The fabulous generationXmom is guest posting today on Ooph. I love this post. Something old, something new. We parent this way in our home. Reading her post had me feeling all Little House on the Prairie warm and fuzzy, with a twist of The Cosby show snarky and a dollup of Modern Family cool. Enjoy.

Drugs and rock and roll.  That was the worst of our grandparent’s fears for their kids.  Now we have that…plus.  Every day I hear about another danger out there lurking around our kids.  Robotripping, the choking game, pharming parties, you name it.  What are we to do?
 
No matter what the situation, my search for an answer always ends in the same thing.  Be involved.  Studies show that being involved in our kid’s lives can make a huge difference.  Remember the dinner table?  Research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has found that the more often parents and kids eat dinner together, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use drugs.  The concept is not rocket science.  It is all about conversation.  Taking part in regular conversation with your kids is huge.  Talking about the normal stuff along with the tougher stuff, but all in a casual manner on a regular basis makes a big difference.
 
Being involved doesn’t necessarily mean being up on every juicy detail.  We don’t have to know who is dating who and who kissed who at the dance.  Even though we would like to.  It is more about just being there.  Be there at dinner, be there at games, be there when they come home from school, be there at night when they go to bed, and really just be there for good old-fashioned life.  Being there on a regular basis keeps it “normal” for kids.  They are more likely to talk about things when it is not a big formal conversation and just normal day-to-day life conversation.
 
One of my goals this school year is to live old-fashioned.  Now of course I am not getting rid of my computer, phone, or any other conveniences of life.  However, I am attempting to put it all into perspective.  Remembering what is important.  I am attempting to work my schedule around my kids and not my kids around my schedule.  I am working on watching television again ‘as a family’.  I am working on having dinner all together at home as many nights as possible.  I am working on setting rules for all electronics after a certain hour (mine and theirs).  I am working on more board games and less electronic games.  I am working on experiencing life together as a family more, rather than separately.
 
Our fast paced lives have changed our view on living.  We are all so busy and tuned into life outside our house that sometimes we forget there is a lot of life going on inside the house.
 
Life today is good, but a lot of it is still new and everything new takes practice.  I believe the key to raising our kids today is living today with a touch of yesterday.

What do you do in your home to maintain the balance between the simple days of old and the technology filled rat race of today? How often do you sit down for a family dinner?  Do you have a fun tradition you would like to share?

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