Friday, September 16, 2011

Take the Time

Take the Time Mindfulness for Kids by Maud Roegiers
This book was amazing.  It is great for both parents and children.  It is a reminder about how we all need to take a breath every once in awhile, look around and enjoy where we are at.  As the inside cover/jacket reads.... Both parent and child can learn to "experience the experience" rather than rushing from one thing to another.  I plan to add this to my Books I love For Kids List and will purchase this book in the near future.  The artwork was very cute too. 
Front Cover

To go along with this Take the Time mantra I enclose some recent parenting tips I've read/found in various magazines/newspapers etc.  Some of the comments were a slap in the face, because I was not always being the mom I should be...

Lessons from a Zen Mommy- your life Mental Health Parents Aug 2011
1. Do what you're doing while you're doing it. Mom translation: Stop multitasking. So I fail at this a lot because I'm always trying to cram too much into my days, especially my days off.  I feel like in order to stay sane I need to clean the house, while at the same time feel like I'm playing with my daughter so while cleaning I am having her do an activity, but at the end of the day I'm really just cleaning and finding something for her to do- which isn't bad, but I realize I spend way less one-on-one time with her than I wish I did. 

2. Leave no trace. Mom translation: Take responsibility for yourself and your mess. And teach your child to do the same.  I do o.k. with this one- not feeling a slap in the face about this comment, but need to remember to have the kids pick up instead of me picking up after them, to shorten the time it takes- I do find myself doing that sometimes: it's easier if I just do it- instead of waiting for them to do it.

3. Take just the right amount. Mom translation: Limit acquiring too much stuff. Oh to downsize... I started about a month ago going through my desk/scrapbook area downstairs and if my kids have too many little "happy meal" like toys, then I have too many odds and ends when it comes to scrapbooking, which I really haven't touched since oh- Kate being 9 months old.  I know this date due to the fact that her 1st year of life baby/scrapbook is still missing months 9, 10, 11, and 12.  Yep she is 3- and yes I feel guilty about not having it done- but obviously not that guilty, because it still isn't complete.

4. Practice patience. Mom translation: don't beat yourself up over things. OUCH! total slap in the face because I do this all the time.  Have to include more from the article it really spoke to me. 
Of course we all want to be perfect.  And we want our kids to be perfect too- responsible, generous, polite, nice.  However, it's a life's work to become a decent human being.  Because our kids are constantly changing, we're always total beginners.  We all need time to learn, make mistakes and start over.  But we live in an impatient world, and many of us- women especially- tend to beat ourselves up when we feel like we've fallen short. I need to read, reread, and reread this part of this post because I'd be a happier person if I practiced more patience. 

They also put in some home practices for Zen Moms- here they are:
Develop Rituals-can be small everyday starts to the day- sitting with your kids and talking about one goal to accomplish for the day
Count Your Blessings
Remember to Breathe- There is no underestimating the power of truly allowing yourself to simply be a few times a day. 

In this same August Parents 2011- they had an article about Discipline Mistakes All Moms Make which I found to be a good follow-up to the above Zen Mom makeover.  What I pulled from that one...We're all talk and no action The fix: Set limits and follow through. Sounds easy, but I don't always feel like I'm doing this consistently so was a good reminder to see it in writing. We expect too much from our kids. The Fix: Play teacher. Their examples were instead of getting upset realize the child's age, what behavior should be appropriate and then model what you expect of them- i.e. expecting a toddler to sit through church on Sunday without making a peep not realistic so you/mom needs to realize that your expectations need to be lowered and the church time will go better.  We model behavior we don't want to see. The Fix: Apologize and take a do-over. There's a boomerang effect to behavior. If we yell, our kids probably will too.  Yep I fall into this trap to and again just need to be reminded once in awhile about my own behavior and what little "back seat" driver is watching me and learning how to act from me. We intervene when our kids simply annoy us. The Fix: Ignore selectively.  Often, parents feel the need to step in every time kids do something, well kid-like.  Again guilty as charged.  My husband is much better at ignoring the constant sibling banter, but it drains on me so I nip it in the bud much more frequently hence am constantly intervening.  Although it will still annoy me I will try and make lesser interruptions into sibling play.  Maybe buy some earplugs.  We're too negative. The Fix: Ask for the behavior you want to see.  Another big slap in the face.  We all can get pretty negative and I need to along with practicing my zen patience need to also improve my momitude (yep I think that's a word). 

If anything writing this post was a reminder for me of all the things I've to work on- Whew! tired already, but if it makes me a happier mom and hence have happier kids it is worth it.  Make sure you "Take the Time" this weekend.

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