The foundation for conscious parenting is a secure relationship with yourself, with your own True Self.
If you are parenting through a stormy time-- any stormy time at any age--the first step is to connect with your True Self, remembering your own inner wisdom.
It's a practice so unassuming that it's easy to miss. There's no need to 'go big,' just settle in. I'm going to describe it, and it will sound (if it's new to you) too simple. But please, trust me and try.
Begin now, by simply noticing your experience. Sit in a way that is both comfortable and alert, and feel how that feels. Can you feel your weight resting on the chair? Okay, stay with it and feel it for a bit. Let yourself get very still, noticing your feet and letting them rest, then moving through your legs, hips, belly, chest, shoulders and arms, hands and fingers, then up to your neck, and face including your jaw, cheeks, eyes, and brow., noticing each part of your body and letting it be still.
As you get still, you may start feeling your breath moving. If not, notice it on purpose. Get curious about it, feeling the breath coming and going right at the tip of your nose. Can you notice the sensation that tells you you're breathing? Feel it without changing anything.
Maybe after you stay with it for a moment, your attention wanders off to something more interesting or flashy. That is not a problem, it's normal. When you notice, be a little curious about it. Notice where your attention went--a thought about dinner? A cramp in your leg? A feeling about something happening with your child? Once you see it, come back to the breath in your nose. Don't control it, just observe it, feel it, even maybe enjoy it.
Do this for a while. Maybe 2 minutes if it's new for you, 15 or 20 minutes if you can. Don't try to get anywhere special, don't try to be perfect, don't worry about the way it is. Just do it.
This is the workout that builds your relationship to the True Self, the inner awareness, so it gets strong and healthy. It is essential.
Will you try it with me every day for a week? Over time, this practice will transform not only your relationship with yourself, but also your relationship with your family.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness helps me find peace with my imperfect journey--being with myself as I truly am, loving my family as they are, and showing up for a messy world with openness and compassion.