Peaceful parenting seems like a myth. Yes even when you are all balanced, you know what makes it work, still some days seem hopeless.
Parenting is full of constant battles. It seems hilarious but you have to literally battle with a two year old. And that constant mode of tug of war helps neither the parent nor the child. Some simple changes can help you experience a world of difference in your parenting journey.
Most days are good for us and it seems that I am blessed with the best child ever and suddenly one day something happens. And then when it happens for a couple of days I feel the need for some help. So I turn to one of the parenting books, and trust me it helps.
It may seem like not the best thing to do to you. Parenting has to happen intuitively and not learnt but then we all need help sometimes and it is better we acknowledge that. And believe me these books have helped me so much on those destressed days.
Based on my parenting experience of 6 years and the numerous books I read, I came to these four simple steps to peaceful parenting. Parenting that happens from the heart. Where you have that heart melting relation with the child. It is simple and yet so challenging when you do it day after day.
Everytime you feel overwhelmed stop pause and breathe…. and restart! And you know what these simple steps can also be extended to our other relations and life in general.
Take care of your needs
This in my opinion is the most important step to peaceful parenting. I can take care of the needs of my family best when my own needs are met.
I spend the early hours of the day doing yoga, journaling and meditation. Basically things that would help me ground myself, reduce and dilute my anxiety and take me in a place of calm. You may have different needs. But the main thing is to do something for yourself.
Practicing mindfulness is perhaps the most important thing for parenting I feel. Years of meditation practice is put to test as soon as you become a parent. Being in the present moment helps with small children and with adults too!
I have seen that when I am myself experiencing inner calm I am able to parent more peacefully. My own emotions in a turmoil make it difficult for me to tend to my child with love and compassion.
Also I have often seen that my moods and feeling are reflected on my child.
Do take care of your health too. In a healthy body rests a healthy mind and soul. If you have pains and aches, or lack the strength to deal with the zillion parenting needs, you are bound to falter.
Attend to them first
Spend the early hours taking care of them. My mom’s advice if you do not keep her busy she will keep you busy. lol
So I start my day attending to all her needs. I homeschool her so I do some school work with her before I turn to my work. That gives her some undivided attention from me and at the same time it gets done a major task for me 😉
Also it helps big time with mommy guilt. When I am busy doing up the house work or my own things and do not make time for undivided, end of day it makes me feel so guilty for not having made time for her.
Even when she was a toddler, I would always play with her for 30 minutes before turning to something I need to do. This kept her happy as for her need to connect with me. Connecting with the child is so important. Once you have done that you would see them happily playing by themselves. Else the child will be cranky vying for your attention.
Giving them some undivided time and attention fills up their cup. It is a beautiful way to nurture them I feel.
You think you can solve their problems. But all you really need to do is empathize. Do not try to set it right. Do not try to take away the tantrum of a toddler. Just be with them and let it pass. Hug them and tell them you understand how they feel. Do not try to explain. It does not work in the heat of moment at all. A very beautiful book that helped me deal with Myra’s toddler times was How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7
It is the same with older children too! Nobody wants to be lectured. Even before you want to give some valuable advice you must listen completely, without judging. You may not agree with them but you can be compassionate to their feelings.
Just a hug and telling them you are there and it will be all good, can make the child feel so much better. Compassion and love is the most important ingredient to peaceful parenting. We all love our children. But expressing love is the most important thing. Expression of love has to be both verbal and non verbal.
A very beautiful book Five love languages of children is something I say is a must read. Each of us has a different love language. Understanding and expressing love in the language one speaks is more effective.
Communicating for Peaceful Parenting
When I talk of communicating the most important aspect is listening. Any communication is incomplete without listening. So listen to what your child is trying to tell you. Listen to their ramblings. It is only when you listen you can be empathetic.
Come to their level and listen. Stop what you are doing and give them undivided attention.
Also when you talk to them express their emotions. That makes them feel that you totally understand how they feel. You may not be able to do all that they want but telling them you understand what and how much they want something will make them feel good.
These four simple things have really helped me in my parenting journey. No two days are the same. No formula works forever. Parenting is the greatest learning of life. It makes us parents better humans, if we are ready to learn and adapt to our children instead of making them into the person we want them to be.
Do share what works best for you in parenting. I would also love to hear from you if you imbibe some of this into your life and it helps you.
Happy parenting…. Enjoy the journey!!!!
I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z and this post corresponds to letter P!