At my day job, I’m the director of the Auburn University Psychological Services Center. Working on a bustling college campus, I get to commute to work every day with thousands of college students. After more than fifteen years in this town, I’ve learned something about college aged pedestrians. Most of them are not paying attention to what’s going on around them when they walk into the road. They act like the road is not a dangerous place and that walking right into it without looking won’t have any consequences.
They’re wrong. So, in an effort to cut down on pedestrian meets vehicle accidents, our campus and community are now equipped with signs that highlight how to safely navigate the crosswalk. You wouldn’t think that 20,000 plus college students would need these types of instructions, but they do. Trust me, they REALLY do.
The more I’ve seen this sign around campus, the more I’ve decided that moms like me really need to apply some common sense crosswalk safety tips when parenting the kids of today. Gone are the days of helicopter parenting. Instead of hovering, moms these days are much more likely to be parenting their children while talking on the phone, updating their Facebook status, and checking out the latest reality show – SIMULTANEOUSLY!
Think about it. I mean, honestly think about it. I promise, I won’t ask you to reveal your answers! When your child is in the car with you, do you use the time to engage them in conversation or do you spend it talking on your cell phone? When you’re at their soccer game, are you watching the game or are you sending a quick email on your smart phone? When your child approaches you for help with their homework, do you ever say “in a minute” because you’re busy checking out the pictures of your college sorority sisters? Does any of this resonate with you? It does with me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m just as guilty of distracted parenting as the next mom! But just because all of us are doing it, doesn’t make it right! Parenting kids today is a lot like walking out into a busy street. It’s dangerous. There are consequences for poor choices. We need to be alert, to focus. Just like when we’re in the crosswalk, knowing (and following) the safety tips can really help! And so can using a little common sense.
Instead of our generation of moms being labeled as distracted parents, we need to make a change. What we need is a revolution. But how? For one month, I’m going to be hosting the first Focused Moms Challenge, and I’d like nothing more than for you to join me. We can’t all be perfect parents, but we certainly can all make a change to be better focused on what matters most, our children. That’s what the Focused Moms Challenge is all about, and in it you’ll learn proven psychological techniques combined with a dose of your grandmother’s common sense!
Here’s how it works:
- Each Monday in April, I’m going to give you a week long challenge related to one of the crosswalk safety tips. You won’t know what it is until that day (or how it relates to being a more focused mom), but on Monday morning you’re going to get your assignment for the week. They’ll be lots of good information, techniques to practice, and homework to try with your kids.
- Throughout the week I’ll be posting tips and encouragement on Facebook and Twitter to keep you motivated on your journey.
- On Friday, I’ll post here how the challenge worked at my house that week and invite you to share with me (and all of our Focused Mom friends) how it worked for you. You can link up a blog post if you want to write about it, or if you don’t have a blog you can comment on my post about how your week went.
- Then, spend the weekend reviewing the ideas that you got from our other Focused Moms, put the finishing touches on the challenge for the week.
Sounds easy enough right? Well, that part it easy, it’s the work it’s going to take to change your parenting style that’s going to prove to be more difficult! But I believe we can do it. Together. If you want to participate, and become a more focused mom, here’s all you need to do:
- Check my blog on Mondays in April for your marching orders and then again on Fridays to let us all know how it worked for you. If you want to get the challenge through email so that you don’t forget, just enter your email address in the “Email Updates” section of my sidebar. Once you do that, you’ll get a confirmation email where you confirm your subscription and then you’ll be all set!
- Like or Follow us on Facebook or Twitter so that you can get the tips during the week.
- Tell others about the Focused Mom Challenge and encourage them to join. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Email, or whatever you like best! Invite your friends, your family, your community, the more the merrier. If you’re a blogger, post the badge on your blog so that your readers can join too!
With your help, we can turn the Focused Moms Challenge into a Revolution. I can hardly wait!
Common Sense Disclaimer: This challenge does not provide or replace psychological treatment or evaluation. Contact a psychologist in your community if you are in need of individualized services.