Parenting can feel overwhelming and incorporating mindfulness can feel like one more task to do. But raising kids that are connected to peace is a necessity to cope with this over-programmed, high-tech world we live in. How do you as a parent create balance at home? How do you get kids to give up screen time for nature time?
Mindfulness is the same as any new positive habit you want to add to life. If you want to run a marathon or lose weight, you have to start slowly and have a plan and a goal. The same goes for mindfulness. Add one thing at a time into your routine until it becomes a part of the fabric of your life and then move on to the next. Before you know it your home will be filled with a vibration of peace. Just like any new habit, it takes time, but it’s worth it. So where do you start?
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Making Gratitude a Habit
Gratitude is the key to a joyful life. I always say, brush your teeth, make your bed and feel grateful everyday. When you are on your way to school, point out things you are grateful for; the beautiful sky, the sunshine and the birds singing to you. Add gratitude to your night time routine. Buy or make a gratitude journal and have your child write or draw pictures of things they are grateful for. This helps your child go to sleep with a grateful heart. Say things you are grateful for about your child and have them do the same to you.
Planting seeds of gratitude is a win-win for parenting. Years later, children will remember the words you spoke to them and how grateful they are for you.
Focus on the Positive
What we focus on, grows. Everything has an energy to it, even our thoughts. What you say to your child becomes their inner voice. I’m a big fan of sticky notes. Write down something you feel proud about your child and stick the note on a mirror, next to a light switch or in their back pack. Make a playlist of happy tunes and let it play in the morning while you are all busy getting ready for your day.
Your child will remember the happy words and joyful vibration of the tunes.
It’s All About Balance
How do you create balance in your home with so many technology distractions? Modeling behavior is always a good place to start. Are you looking at your phone during dinner time or texts when you are playing a game with your kids?
Try going on a tech-free walk. When walking listen, hear and feel nature around you. Take a basket and pick up leaves, flowers, branches and make a nature table when you get home. Have dinner time be a tech-free zone. Share your day with your kids and encourage them to do the same. How about playing a board game or making a craft together?
How about coloring mandalas? Print out mandalas or buy a mindful coloring book, put on some yoga music and quietly color together. You will be surprised how meditative this can be. Weaving these simple mindfulness techniques into the fabric of your family life will create positive habits that last a lifetime.