Photo by cozycabinmom
Do you actively demonstrate relaxation around your kids?
A couple recent posts in the blogosphere are discussing the benefits of using a little TV (or movie watching) time to relax with your kids. TV lounging is not only a more passive way to connect with your kids, but it might teach them a valuable life lesson: relaxation is good for the body and mind.
In the post The joys, and benefits, of slackerdom, mom Betsy Shaw admits, "I tend to look at movies the same way I look at play dates and toys: as tools of liberation. They exist solely to divert my kids’ attention away from me, so I can get back to doing all the things that will be undone by my them as soon as the movie, play date, or game is over."
Then she goes onto share about about a day she actually stops, reclines on the couch, and watches the movie with her kids and how positively this sets in with her kids. The kids very much enjoyed her presence, even her TV-watching presence.
In the post Parenting: Happy Families, Stephanie Calman says, "Children are like automatic cars; you don't need to keep pushing them, just let your foot off the brake."
I take this to mean that, as parents, we can let go a little. We don't have to maintain high efficiency parenting at all times. The things we do with our kids don't always have to be constructive, intellectually challenging, or even well planned. Sometimes it's critical that we leave our brains in "neutral" for a little while.
But what I got out of reading these posts about shared TV watching is the importance of demonstrating relaxation—with and without our kids. After all, if we want to raise well-balanced children, don't we need to show them how to enjoy down time? Isn't it a nice lesson to show our kids that a simple, lazy day can be just as meaningful as a play date or a day at the zoo?
Whether you use TV or another "brain neutral" activity for down time with your kids, what do you think about this? Is "doing nothing" on your parenting agenda?
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside