The most important tool I have in my parenting toolbox is meditation. It is like the Swiss Army knife of parenting tools. This one “tool” can flip a melt down situation on its ear, turn worry into vapor, and generate energy where there is a huge lack of it.
It has been a parenting game-changer for me.
Meditation can make you a better parent because it can take away stress, give you clarity, and teach you (and possibly even your children) how to be less re-active.
What Tools Are in Your Parenting Toolbox?
Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT a Buddhist, and I’m barely crunchy granola. Actually, more often than not, I’ve been the antithesis of that: total type A, micromanaging, hot tempered, loud, etc.
And, these attributes have served me well in many of my life’s adventures. But, obviously, these qualities are not so awesome when parenting small children. No mom aspires to be a loud, micromanaging hot head…
Yet, that’s what parenting young children was turning me into. It wasn’t pretty.
I yelled way more than I wanted, and I put a lot of pressure on myself and my children when it came to our daily routines.
I was stressed, and I needed a solution.
It’s Not You, It’s Me
Like every other hurdle in my life, I attacked it the same way. I decided to just research the crap out of it and find the answers I needed. Boom. Problem solved. Right? Nope.
I tried parenting solution after parenting solution from the abundance of books at my bedside. I still ended up with the same frustrations. Why?
Because, I made one major mistake that cost me several years of wasted effort.
I assumed the problem was with their behavior.
I thought if I just researched parenting techniques, childhood behaviors, etc. that I would find all the information I needed to deal with my children and their behaviors. But, I was way off.
It wasn’t until I came across The Conscious Parent, by Shefali Tsabary, PhD, that my attitude shifted. It was her book that connected the dots for me. Without doing a full review of the book, let me just say this—The Conscious Parent helped me realign my focus.
I began to understand that it was less their behavior and more my reactions to their behavior that were the real problem. Then, by making the journey to uncover the reasons behind MY reactions, I finally turned inward and to meditation.
It was the single best choice I have made as a parent.
Meditation Eases the Lack of Control
There is a lot of grasping for straws when you’re a parent. None of us know what we’re doing half the time. This breeds chaos, which makes things feel out of control. And, us type A’s don’t like feeling out of control. We always look for a way to FIX things.
Meditation replaces the urge to FIX with the SPACE TO LET IT BE. That’s why meditation and parenting are beautiful partners.
Let’s be clear here ladies: I’m not talking about 30 minutes of uninterrupted monk-style quiet time.
That’s beyond unrealistic in my world.
No–when I say meditate, I mean breathing space to center yourself, your mind. And, then, allow the moment to be what it is. (Check out my post A SAHMs Quick Guide to Meditation to see what I mean!)
This is something that can be done in 2 minutes. SERIOUSLY.
Two minutes of breathing can save you 30 minutes of arguing and yelling. Plus, it can save you weeks of guilt.
It gives you a chance to sit with the uneasy feelings that parenting brings. Then, it helps you let it go, or better yet – it helps you let it be.
For someone like me, this tool is priceless.
Meditation Benefits Everyone
Meditation relieves stress, decreases anger, frustration and fear, and it shows my children a different (and better) way to deal with emotions of all flavors.
There are as many ways to parent as there are children needing parenting. But, one thing I know in my heart of hearts to be true is that ANY tool that can give you clarity and breathing space is invaluable. Meditation and parenting just fit together.
Meditation is that tool.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is not a magic pill! I openly admit to still yelling at and micromanaging my kids. BUT, I know that I do it LESS because of the lessons that meditation is teaching me.
For me, that’s a WIN.
If you are a mom who struggles daily to “manage” your children, then I would beg you to give meditation a try. At worst, you’re giving yourself a few minutes everyday to catch your breath. At best, you’re redefining the dynamic with your kids.
What have you got to lose? Click HERE for my post on how to get started!