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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  1. says

    A cousin of mine introduced a tradition that I am stealing, and it’s kind of old-fashioned: baking on Sundays. Every Sunday, she and her young kids choose something to bake. I think it’s a winning idea — you have the time together and also something terrific to eat or pack in lunches later.

  2. says

    My blog deals with all these dangerous teen trends, plus so many more. I’m a single mom with 2 girls and they basically tell me everything (even some things I would rather not know). With our crazy schedule now, it seems we are eating at all different times, but when they were small, we did sit down at a table together, and I believe it made a big difference.

    Plus, your kids have to know if they come to you (about anything), you are not going to blow up at them (screaming, cussing, etc) or they won’t be back. I’m very laid back & do not get mad easily, so my girls know I will be calm no matter what they tell me. I’m not saying don’t issue punishment, just don’t yell & cuss and act like a crazy person!

  3. says

    Great post Dalia! I love "living today with a touch of yesterday". We try to sit for dinner together on most nights except one day a week we go out as a family. My children are young so we still have this luxury of them wanting to go and not having to coerce them. :)

    I hope to instill more old fashion values too. Reading and playing board games. My husband was just talking about possibly getting a Wii…we both kind of winced at that idea…we’re holding out as long as we can!

    I love baking on Sundays idea…thanks!

  4. Joey Lynn Resciniti says

    We eat dinner together every night. I often thought it was crazy that this is hard for families. Then I moved into a neighborhood where kids never eat at the same time. Some of them show up to activities at 7 or 8 pm and still haven’t eaten. It boggles my mind and makes me extremely grateful to have the life we have. I am old fashioned and it’s good.

  5. Lindsey Buechler says

    This is so fresh and so true. Our family plays "favorite part of the day" at the dinner table. That is usually a great conversation starter. The only downside is that after we have eaten everyone runs off to their room to finish homework.

  6. says

    We have ‘mandatory Sunday Night Dinner’ as a family- with 4 kids (some working, some sports, etc) it’s hard to eat together the other nights of the week but everyone knows Sunday dinner is where we all come together and can share any family news, etc. Anddd, it’s the one night of the week I actually, genuinely cook!

  7. says

    Other than making every effort to do regular family dinners, we also have a tradition with our extended family on Friday nights. It is pizza night. All extended family (of which there is a lot) gathers at one house for homemade pizza. Everyone tries to make it as often as possible unless there are other places to be. As all of the kids have gotten older there are often lots of other places to be, but we still continue the tradition and make it as often as we can. Usually 3 out of the 4 Fridays a month we are there.

  8. says

    I am big on family dinners. Now that my kids are still young we have them almost every night. I am already instilling the rule of no technology during dinner (which is currently harder on me than anyone else–I know that will change someday). I love your (Stef’s) Sunday night dinner idea with games afterward for the day when my girls are busy with school, friends, extracurriculars and sports during the week.

  9. Suzette Valle says

    We’re lucky our schedules have always allowed for family dinners practically every night. It’s also a tradition we hold on to from my Hispanic heritage — always have food on the table and they will come.
    On Sunday’s we indulege in a very guilty pleasure. As much as I condem the garbage on television, we (minus 1 away at college now) congregate in front of the tube to watch Amazing Race, one of the few reality shows we actually like and can watch as a family. But you’re right. There’s no substitution for being a present parent.

  10. Tiffany says

    We do family dinner’s every night- starting the kids young by just talking about their days. This was a great post and something we have to always remember no matter how busy things can get-be present.

  11. Monica K. Lindstrom says

    I really like the idea of game night. My brother is 14 and I think it would be great to pick one night a week where we all get together and play games. Rhett can run around us while we try to keep him from grabbing all the pieces!

  12. Shanna Blanton says

    Lindsey, I started asking my boys the same question and also started asking what their least favorite thing was too! I have learned a lot about asking those questions together! I don’t ask to encourage speaking negative but to gauge what upsets them or where I can help…I read an article about the 5 things you should ask your kids each day and it was great! Ill see if I can find and post! I think you would enjoy it too!

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