Great for All Ages, Parent Tips, Stress Management, The Happy Student Podcast

#102 How To Be Happy and Fulfilled So Your Kids Are Too

Our kids do as we do. And what we want for them is to be happy and fulfilled. So, if they’re going to be like us, we need to be happy and fulfilled so they can be. Easier said than done. Fireborn’s got 7 tips that intertwine so you can do multiple at a time for maximum happiness efficiency, so that your kids can learn how to be just like you.

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  1. Give yourself some quiet time.
    1. Take time to meditate, to reflect on the day, and to daydream, and maybe to practice some yoga.
    2. You can specifically set aside time for quiet time in a specific place and your kids know they are not to bother you while you are there (or they can quietly join you in your quiet time).
      1. Put on some classical music that is a cue to your kids that it is your reflection time. If your kids interrupt or ask, definitely tell them what you are doing and why. They will start to interrupt you less and less and they may even start to join you.
  2. Put the phone and social media away.
    1. The real problem is “reverse FOMO”. You’re not missing out on anything online. But by always being online you’re missing out on life.
    2. So stop the scrolling and live in the real world more often.
    3. This gives more time for that quiet reflection.
  3. Spend more time having conversations with people (in person if possible).
    1. Use phones to make plans to hang out with people, but avoid using it to catch up. If you can’t meet up in person, a phone call is way better than texting.
    2. That personal connection is so much more powerful and healthy and joy-producing than seeing life updates on Instagram.
  4. Give and get a lot of hugs (with consent obviously).
    1. As Eric Barker puts it, “Hugs make you happier.”
  5. Make plans and do stuff together with your friends.
    1. Don’t just talk with your friends, do stuff together! Learn a new activity together!
    2. Eric says, “Someone else is not doing cooler things than you because they have “more time”. It’s because they have different priorities.”
  6. Have a hobby and make sure your leisure time is high quality.
    1. Hobbies are things we are passionate about. Things we like to do, skills we like to learn, and challenges we like to overcome.
  7. Remember to focus on your values.
    1. People are prioritizing doing cool stuff because that is what they value.
    2. We don’t even think about how to spend our free moments. Somehow it just happened that every time we have a second, we check our phone. So you have to figure out what you value and remind yourself of those values to get  motivated to not check and scroll forever and to do that cool stuff instead. You have to be intentional with your time.

Reference:

Barker, E. (2019) This is the most powerful way to make your life fantastic. Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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The Happy Student Podcast

The Happy Student Podcast #90: Taking it Slow

Fireborn’s on a mission to help people slow down! The research shows being busy isn’t actually good for your brain and it’s not good for productivity. The research also shows that self-compassion, and not stress and negative thinking, is good for overcoming challenges and perseverance. What’s good is taking your time and teaching our kids to take their time. It encourages curiosity. It gives our brains time to be thoughtful and consider different possibilities. So it helps kids to start thinking analytically. And it teaches them to be present in the moment – to be aware of their surroundings and appreciate what is going on. Really good things! Fireborn’s got 5 tips to help you help your kids slow down.

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  • The research shows being busy isn’t actually good for your brain and it’s not good for productivity. The research also shows that self-compassion, and not stress and negative thinking, is good for overcoming challenges and perseverance.
  • So what does taking it slow mean? It means giving you and your family time to get from place to place and time to accomplish stuff without rushing.
    • Taking it slow means giving your child the opportunity to stop to pick up a stick from the sidewalk and think about it.
  • Giving your child the opportunity to consider those thoughts is a huge gift.
    • It encourages curiosity.
    • It gives their brains time to be thoughtful and consider different possibilities. So it helps them to start thinking analytically.
    • And it teaches them to be present in the moment – to be aware of their surroundings and appreciate what is going on.
  • If your kids are constantly rushing around, they miss that time for reflection, development, appreciation, and growth.

5 tips to help you help your kids slow down:

  1. Meditate together.
    1. Calm (a meditation app)
    2. Sitting Still like a Frog (a meditation book)
  2. Reduce the number of afterschool activities so that kids have time afterschool for unstructured, screen-free free time.
    1. Kids develop amazing skills when they play – curiosity, resourcefulness, and communication skills to just name a few.
    2. When kids are bored, they learn to think about how to stop being bored. It builds creativity and problem solving skills.
    3. It’s okay to do stuff after school. Balance here is just super important.
  3. Reducing the number of activities you’re racing to also gives you the opportunity to slow down the transitions and give yourself more time in between transitions.
    1. This provides kids with the opportunity to think more deeply about the world around them.
  4. Reduce the number of things you do.
    1. Your kids follow your lead. So if you are rushing around, prioritizing everything and stressing about doing everything, your kids will too. If you can be compassionate with yourself, really prioritize the things that are important and focus on just those, you’ll be showing your kids how to do it. Keep your time sacred.
    2. You are never going to “finish your work”. So yes, do some work, but also make sure you have time to do what makes you happy – those priorities. Find the time to slow down.
  5. Remind yourself that there will always be more stuff to do on your to do list, so if you don’t do what’s truly important now, you’ll be spending all your time working never getting to the good stuff. Taking things slow lets us get to the good stuff.
  • When you aren’t rushing from one activity to the next and being present in the moment, you learn to focus on what you are doing right then instead of constantly thinking about what you are doing next and preparing for that.
    • That helps kids learn to take their time doing their homework, instead of rushing through it and helps them to focus on one subject at a time. Giving kids time gives them the opportunity to do their homework well.
  • We always need a good balance.
    • It’s good to take things slow and live in the moment, but it simply isn’t practical to constantly live that way.
    • So while you are trying to slow things down, there will be challenges that make it hard – you and your kids need to take it slow, while also understanding that there is a time frame for things.
    • It’s worth trying to figure that balancing act out instead of just continuing to rush around. 
      • Talk to your kids about how it’s okay to take their time transitioning from school to homework, but in the mornings everyone’s a little slow and we have to get to school on time, so in the mornings they need to be more focused on getting out the door ready for school. 
    • Us adults also have to realize those cues for ourselves and take those times to be slow – to give ourselves the time to be slow. We have to figure it out so our kids can learn when to be fast and when they can be slow.
  • To not be thinking constantly about what to do next but instead be in the moment allows kids to focus on the task at hand. So it may feel like they are getting distracted, but it actually helps them learn to focus on one thing.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!