Copen’ with the Kids: Simplify your family’s happiness

Looking at the state of the world today, it would be no surprise for any parent to feel a little anxious (read bonkers) from time to time. Not only are we tasked with the daily challenge of keeping our little ones happy and healthy, but we do all of this under the invisible yet heavy cloak of uncertainty and trepidation, knowing what is going on a few blocks down in Europe. 

So perhaps to minimise the gloom that some of us parents may feel, what we families need the most is to eliminate distractions that cloud our perspective of things that matter the most to us.

Pin down what’s important
Have a think about your dreams, values and goals for yourself and your family as a whole. Then map out your life accordingly and leave room for adjustments. A good (and perhaps slightly morbid) way of finding out what is important to you is asking yourself: “How would I live my life if I only had a short time left?”

Limit your commitments
Learn to set boundaries and say no to excessive work schedules, meet-ups or other commitments that don’t contribute to the things you value. This also includes activities that we may like to do but are proving to be more of a hassle than enjoyment at this given time.

Limit extracurricular activities
Just as you need to simplify your own commitments, the same goes for your kid. Say yes to activities that foster your child’s life skills and no to the ones that don’t. ECAs should be a way to discover your child’s passions and not just be a placeholder for time.

Get outside
March brought us the gift of splendid weather and it is time to feel the breeze and soak up some vitamin D. Try to spend at least an hour every week outdoors. Enjoy the sunrise. Walk a dog. Stroll along the harbour. Chase a butterfly.

Turn down the noise
This one may be one of the more difficult things for us to do with our neverending to-do list in this age of insta-stimulation. But a great way to refocus and declutter your mind is to take just a few minutes a day for some peace and solitude. Put your phone away, find a quiet space in your home – bedroom, bathroom, balcony – and catch just 10 minutes of meditation, self-reflection, me-time or whatever you want to call it.

Limit material possessions
The constant talk of inflation and unstable financial markets is more than enough for us to want to hold on to our purse strings – and rightly so. Try your best to live within your means – or even under if you have a goal you want to save for. Reduce clutter in your home by donating to charity or selling your pre-loved items at a second-hand store.

Create memorable moments
Fill up your memory bank with a plethora of enriched family moments. Explore together. Play together. Laugh together. Cry together. Learn together. Eat together. Read together. Travel together. In the end, these are the moments that shape our relationship with our children and strengthen our bonds.

Living consciously and purposefully is not always the easiest thing for us parents to do. Our daily-grind-auto-pilot-mode can be quite prevalent at times as we all ‘do what we gotta do’. 

But sometimes it can do wonders to just take a step back to reflect on and re-evaluate what is most important for yourself and your family.’

Kate Monteath 

A former kids radio host and now head of content for a leading family activity guide, Kate is back in DK with her backpack full to the brim of experiences. With her basecamp set up in Copenhagen along with hubby and son, she is on the topsy-turvy journey of what you call parenting. Follow her on Instagram @katemonteath