Brie (L, age 5) and Brooke (R, age 8)
I’ve been doing a lot of guest posts and press release wording on my blog posts lately with good reason and good intent. I’m currently finding my own words in my mindfulness journey and the words others use ring true for me enough that I trust my gut to share them with others! Yay!
I’m going to share an AWESOME article I read today that speaks to me. But first, I’ll share a story that happened to me just an hour ago!
I told my daughters something today that I will repeat here. My kiddos are like all humans and have moments of all our possible spectrum of emotions. At breakfast this morning, my girls were being so well behaved! Until…..
(Brie) “No fair, Brooke has more (insert favorite toy of the moment)!” and
(Brooke) “Mom, Brie is copying me!”
In a moment of ‘peacing out‘ in real time to offer healthy and secure guidance to my kids,
I spoke my truth:, “Yes, both of those things ARE true to your feelings at this moment.” Then I breathed. I honored that. Then, I offered guidance to both based on each need.
To Brie: “Brie, both you and Brooke split the (insert their newest favorite toy – mini scented squishables – LOL) evenly. You chose the items you wanted. If you are unhappy with the choice you made, that’s okay to feel that. However, it’s not something you can change, so you have to let go of that desire to change it because it no longer serves as an option.”
To Brooke: “Brooke, yes, you are right, Brie is copying you. It is because she recognizes that she sees your behavior as a positive act and that is how we learn. Nothing we learn is new, and the hope is that we trust and love ourselves to learn behavior that serves us which serves others.”
Then to both girls, who continued to push my boundaries to ‘fix’ things: “I’ve ‘answered’ both of you with my guidance with good intent and it is now up to you to choose if you want to follow. This is now a closed topic right now. I want to relax and enjoy my breakfast.”
Then a strange thing happened. Brie, my youngest, quite exasperated that mommy’s force field of boundaries, now strong, could no longer be broken, sighed and exclaimed, “OOOOOOOO-KAAY!” We enjoyed the rest of our breakfast.
And this is mindful parenting. It doesn’t mean my kids will remember to mind their bodies. It doesn’t mean they won’t freak out when their senses are overwhelmed. It means that when they act without this intention, I can deal with these things as they come up in a mindful way and teach mindful guidance to them (and – show my husband how I do it) so they can all learn strategies that serve them to put this approach to practice in their own life. That’s it!
There is no magic fix. You don’t need to spend money on expert advice. You already know how to get there – through self-love, self-care and creating an environment within your home that serves your best intention. In turn, it creates the needed healthy environment for your own family. It creates the respect and the love your kids (and spouse) need – that we all need in this life – and trust this approach works. It all starts and ends with you transforming and mindfully – with each intention to – trust yourself in how you behave.
This is not just mindful parenting, it is mindful living. It works for me.