If you are fed up with the pace of your life, you’re in luck because there’s a new book out dedicated to hard-working folks like you.

Susan Lipman, the brilliant blogger over at Slow Family Online, just penned a book aptly called Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World.

In it she provides parents a fail-safe guide to slowing down to offset the frenetic pace we all seem to be on. It’s a gentle invitation to get off the carousel and step back with doable activities that often require nothing more than our imagination.

The book is divided into Slow Activities, Slow Games, Slow Crafts, Slow Kitchen, Slow Garden, Slow Seasons, Slow Celebrations, Slow Travel, Everyday Slow and finally, Slow Parenting. My favorite section is the slow garden one because I love the outdoors and the simplicity of sending the kids outside to explore their backyard (I am reminded of the intention behind TurfMutt, a plant science curriculum for which I also work).

Fed Up with Frenzy gives readers very doable ways to reclaim family connection with simple activities that are also low-cost solutions. It’s every parent’s answer to “Mom! I’m bored!”

I swear I’m keeping it within arm’s reach during the kids’ summer vacation (which just started by the way. Yeah. Bavarians are weird like that).

Run, do not walk, to your nearest online or bricks and mortar store to get this guide. You, and your sanity, will be glad you did.

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You’ve all heard me say it. Limit screen time for yourselves and your kids. One person even said I believe TV is the source of all evil. Not so. I wouldn’t work in TV if I thought that. Toddlers, however, have other things on their minds than watching images pass through the screen: such as learning how to navigate the furniture without falling down and potty training.

According to a recent study,  children age two and under should not watch any TV at all. The ramifications shows up later (by fourth grade), according to the report. Believe me. It’s not worth it. My then-eighteen-month-old took in the story of the three little pigs while playing blocks. He never watched the screen (my three-year-old did), but the sound of the Big Bad Wolf haunted him for years. I mean years!

So, cutting down on screen time is a super duper power of slow idea. How? If you’re in Manhattan or Scarsdale, New York, consider this community, Citibabes (their blog, launched today, literally rules!). I sat down for a cyberchat with Citibabes founder Tracey Frost to discuss the importance of community. The power of slow says the meeting of the minds uplifts. Have a listen to Tracey Frost!

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Betsy Brown Braun, author of You’re Not the Boss of Me, is on the Today Show.

What a great video ~a must-see about how to instill gratitude, respect and self-reliance in your child. And, of course, get the book as a reference guide as you navigate your journey. Whether you are a parent or know one, it’s a good book to have for all ages!

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Back to Nature – for Kids

September 13, 2009

Go outside!

I shout that at least once a day. What is a pariah to my kids, is the saving grace to my mental health and, as it turns out, theirs, too.

The Ad Council and the U.S. Forest Service have created a campaign to encourage today’s youth (specifically tweens aged 8-12) and their parents to re-connect with nature by experiencing it first-hand.

There are many health benefits to kids who spend time out in nature. Time spent in nature gives kids the ability to engage in unstructured and adventurous play, improving their physical and mental health and emotional well-being. It also helps create a conservation ethic and a life-long love of nature. And did you know that the close proximity to open green space is related to reducing childhood obesity? The closer the trees, the easier they are to climb.

More fun facts:

• U.S. children spend 50% less time outdoors than 20 years ago
• Research shows, that children who play outside:

  1. play more creatively;
  2. have lower stress levels;
  3. have more active imaginations;
  4. become fitter and leaner;
  5. develop stronger immune systems;
  6. have greater respect for themselves, for
    others, and for the environment.

• Based on research conduced by Euro RSCG, 88% of tweens
like being in nature and 79% of tweens wish they could spend
more time in nature.

So go slow. Go natural. Go to the forest and breathe…

Lisa Belkin has her finger on the pulse of contemporary motherhood like no other. She blogged about her chat with Carl Honoré about slow parenting and what it means for parents today. I love his message. It harmonizes with mine.

turtleGo at your own pace (remember Eric Yaverbaum? His slow might be your fast). You need not be a total turtle (although they are adorable and remind us all that they get work done, too), but remember what happened to the hare in that children’s fable?

Yes, slow is good. Add a dash of it to your relationships today and see what happens!

I wrote about Slow Parenting on SlowPlanet yesterday. Mind you I’m still struggling with the hurry-ups and the wait-a-minutes, but that makes me qualified to speak to the difference a single question can make, does it?