It’s that time of the year again. All the back-to-school firsts.
First day of school, first day photos, bus routes, teachers, new clothes and shoes, lunch money, early bedtime, even earlier wake-up times! All of this comes into focus, fast and furious. Some of these are dreaded and some are welcomed.
The thing I welcome most about back-to-school is our family gets back on a schedule! Ahhhh, that glorious schedule. As much as I need summer by the end of each school year, I need a schedule by the end of summer. The lazy days of summer have worn out their welcome. Restful days have become long and boring. Late nights have now become all-nighters and mornings turned into afternoons. Our sweet little children have somehow transformed into zombies and we (moms and dads), have become nagging, short-tempered dictators. Am I being too dramatic, maybe? (Maybe not)
Once school starts in the Wilson home, we begin to set goals for the year and encourage one another to set a clear path in order to achieve these goals. One of our biggest this year is making Aro a priority once again. We had gotten a little lax over the summer and now it’s time to get back into the groove of intentional phone use.
For now, we are focusing on three ways we can be more intentional about using Aro to help our kids.
1 - For the kids
We’ve suggested at least 2 hours with phones in Aro after school. They need a chance to wind down, shut the world out, rest, or focus solely on homework.
2 - For family dinner
We use Aro as a family during dinner. While our whole family sits down for a family meal together, so do our phones. This allows all of us to be present and focus on the people around us and not the latest text message or email. It always shocks me how much longer these dinners last without our phones. Conversations are so much better when you feel heard and seen.
3 - For bedtime
We put our phones to bed at night. We each strive for a 10 p.m. phone bedtime in Aro. While 10 p.m. isn’t always going to work, our family knows where our phones go at night and why. I think of it as all our children are tucked in and so are our phones. Safe and sound.
Now that school is back in for your family, I challenge you to find out what works best for you and your children and set goals for how you will be intentional this year. You can start big or small. Just start somewhere.