Originally published on Family Footnote.
Life has changed quite a bit since I was a kid. Social media, text messaging, and Snapchatting are all components that were missing when I was a child, so parenting in this digital age is confusing.
In a world that is still quite new to me, I often get nervous about raising my kids well; however, there are some times when I’m able to sit back, relax, and tap into some of those parenting skills my parents instilled in me many years ago.
I think it’s healthy to have some old-school parenting in this new world.
1. Go Outside and Play
One of my favorite things about living in a cul-de-sac is having the ability to still say “Go outside and play.” When we were kids, we were definitely the kind of children who would check in once or twice, but didn’t feel the need to come in until the street lights came on. I know that times have changed, and I get why, but my kids still get a huge slice of that freedom.
They bounce from cul-de-sac to cul-de-sac and house to house. My neighbors and I parent the same way ― if they can hear us and we can hear them, then they are free to play in front yards, back yards, and the open spaces in between.
I think this freedom is good. It’s where games are created, problem-solving can occur, and my kids would tell you it’s amazing to play for a couple of hours before they stop in at our neighbor’s house for a snack and a Capri Sun.
My “go outside and play” mantra comes from my parents, and the times that I explored my neighborhood are the ones that I remember fondly. I think my kids will, too.
2. Wait While Others are Speaking
This old-school way of thinking is a work in progress for my children. I’ve mentioned many times that I have very loud and excited kids, and for them to hold in what is on their minds for longer than 30 seconds can prove to be nearly impossible.
However, when others are speaking, I try to get them to wait. They may look like someone asked them to hold their breath while they’re waiting, but they are learning to wait for a little bit.
I realize people generally don’t have to be patient for a darn thing anymore. This is one of the ways I’m trying to get them to realize that waiting before speaking is not only polite, but it can also help them formulate what they want to say more articulately.