In today’s consumer-driven, fast-paced society, simplicity can seem like a foreign concept, but it really is best, says Monahan, who has reached this conclusion from years of observing many different children and families. “It seems like there are unending options of activities, festivals, toys, camps, classes, etc., aimed at keeping children and families busy, busy, busy,” she says. “But children and families that do less are happier and healthier. Simple, predictable routines are what children crave most, and when parents can slow down enough to get on the same page, you see something amazing happen with the family's well-being.”
Stopping the constant barrage of activities and slowing down makes room for real conversations, sharing stories, learning lessons and experiencing new things — the things that are much more important for human growth and deep connections. “When you intentionally minimize the car rides, the start times, and all the hustle and bustle of modern family life, you are giving yourself and your children the message that you are enough and your relationship is enough,” explains Monahan.