Getting the Rest You Need As a Tired Parent
Remember what it was like to get your first car? These days, that’s exactly how kids feel when they get their first kids phone. To many kids, a phone represents freedom.
As a tired parent, it’s easy to give in to our kids and hand over screens to give ourselves a much-needed break.
Whether it’s turning on your child’s favorite TV show or downloading a kid-friendly video game on your smartphone, screens can be a quick solution to what seems to be a never-ending struggle to keep your kids under control.
But while screens may provide the temporary relief that you need as a tired parent, too much screen time can ultimately lead your children to develop unhealthy habits with technology that can negatively affect their growth and development.
So how can you—the tired parent—get the rest you need without negatively affecting your child’s overall success?
Getting the Rest You Need as a Tired Parent
Ask for Help
One of the first things you can do to get the rest you need is to ask for help.
Talking to others about what you’re experiencing can not only help you to gain more clarity around what is causing you to be a tired parent (it’s possible that there is more to it than just your rambunctious kids), but can help others to be more aware of your needs so that they can better support you.
Once they are aware of your needs, you can brainstorm solutions that benefit both you and the person whom you are asking for help.
As you are brainstorming, don’t rule any ideas out too early. Coming up with as many possible solutions will help you to realize that there is often more than one way to go about solving your problem.
Here are a few people that you may consider reaching out to for help:
- Your partner
- Family members
- A nanny or babysitter
Plan Screen-Free Activities
As you begin to catch up on the rest you’ve needed as a tired parent, it will be easier for you to start considering different ways to keep your kids occupied and engaged without having to resort to screen time.
Find activities that keep your kids entertained that require minimal amounts of effort on your part. Here are some ideas:
Easy, Low-Prep Activities for Kids
- Play with toys
- Build a fort
- Visit a local zoo or aquarium
- Play with Play-Doh
- Blow bubbles
- Draw with sidewalk chalk
- Build Legos
- Visit a park or playground
- Run through the sprinklers
- Play with balloons
- Ride bikes
- Jump on the trampoline
- Make paper airplanes
- Do a puzzle
- Color a coloring book
- Go on a hike
- Visit a local library or bookstore
- Play a card or board game
- Kick a soccer ball
- Visit a local museum
- Jump rope
- Go bowling
- Skip rocks at a local lake or pond
- Play hangman
- Have a playdate with their friends
Boredom is Not Bad
It’s okay if you don’t always have something fun and exciting planned for your kids.
As long as being bored isn’t contributing to your kids getting into trouble and causing more stress for you, boredom can be a great motivation for kids to get creative and discover new hobbies and interests.
As a tired parent, it isn’t your responsibility to keep your kids entertained 24/7.
Children need their parents to help them reach their greatest potential.
As they grow and develop, they will face challenges and frustrations. In these moments, kids need to know that they can count on their parents for guidance and support.
Simplify Technology Use
You may find that planning screen-free activities is not enough to keep your kids from developing unhealthy relationships with technology.
If that’s the case with your kids, you may consider changing the technology that’s available in your home by either:
- Getting rid of technology that your child has developed bad
relationships with or
- Replacing technology with simpler solutions.
When to Get Rid of Technology
It may be time to get rid of technology in your home if it is negatively affecting your child in any of the following ways:
Your child forgoes eating meals, exercising, and/or sleeping because of their technology use.
Your child is unable to pay attention in school and/or complete homework assignments because of their technology use.
Technology interferes with your child’s ability to develop healthy relationships with your family members and other kids their age.
Your child is regularly using technology inappropriately (ex. Viewing pornography, sexting, cyberbullying, etc.).
When to Replace Technology with Simpler Solutions
In some cases, getting rid of technology may not be an option because there are certain features that you need in technology, not just want.
For example, your child may be involved in extracurricular activities and you may need the reassurance of knowing that they are just a phone call or text away in case of an emergency.
However, your child may struggle with developing a healthy relationship with their smartphone (because of its unlimited access to the internet, social media, video games, etc.) so it might be wise for you to consider replacing their smartphone with a Gabb Phone™.
Many organizations like Gabb™ are beginning to recognize the dangers of technology and are working towards creating simpler and safer solutions for kids.
Even though you are a tired parent, make sure you take the time to research what options are available to you before compromising on technology products that you know could negatively impact yourself or other members of your family.
Being a parent is not easy.
Being a tired parent is even harder.
Take the time to understand the reasons why you are feeling exhausted and don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help.
As you catch up on your rest, you will feel more capable of tackling the many challenges that you face each day—like your child’s bad relationships with technology.
Planning easy, low-prep activities will help your child to stay engaged and occupied without resorting to screen time. It will encourage creativity and a more balanced lifestyle. Then, if further action is needed, getting rid of or replacing your family’s technology may be a more effective solution.
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