“Why do you want your child to hurry
up? Because you're done and figure he’s had long enough to finish?
Because you have something else to do? If so, can that wait so that you
can give your child the time he needs? Because you've promised to be
somewhere? ... If you are constantly rushing from one place to the next
(doctor’s appointment, haircut, playgroup, music lessons) have you taken
on too much? Should you plan more downtime in your schedule so you have
more time to be patient? More time for play and cuddles?” -
Now that kids are back in school and activities, are you noticing that life is too busy? Most of us take it for granted that we're always rushing from one thing to the next. That we have a never-ending to-do list that keeps us from catching our breath, never mind catching a sunset together.
But it costs us. And it costs our kids even more. Our society is so hooked on adrenalin that we don't acknowledge the high price our children pay for our lifestyle. Rushing our children through life: READ POST
"I read Dr. Laura every day and I can actually feel my brain being rewired. I sense myself making continual progress towards the mother I want to be. I'm learning to love myself unconditionally along the way, too." – MaMammalia
"The main difference between a master and a beginner is that the master practices more." -- Yasha Heifetz, Master Violinist
You've probably noticed that things work better with your child when you're in a good mood. At least half of the time when we get irritated, impatient, or frustrated with our kids, it's because we're already feeling unhappy. Then there's a spark, our bad mood flares, and before we know it we're in the middle of a firestorm. That's why noticing your own mood as you go through your day, and re-centering yourself when you're out of sorts, transforms your parenting. READ POST
"Don’t look at it as exercise — instead, play games and have a ton of fun! The main thing is just to get outside every day and do something you think is fun. You can play sports like soccer, basketball, or badminton. You can play games like freeze tag or ride a bike or do running races with your friends or family. You can go on hikes with your family or go swimming or paddling. Do lots of different things, and again, focus on having fun, and doing it often.” – Leo Babauta
You're a parent, so you don’t have time to exercise, right? I can relate. But moving our bodies is a basic part of self-care. We can't talk about nurturing ourselves without figuring out a way to get physical.
We all feel a lot more energetic when we move and stretch. It changes the chemistry of our bodies so we're happier, more relaxed, and we burn more fat. We not only look better, we feel better -- and so we "act" better as parents. Exercise is the best stress reducer there is, after deep breathing and getting enough sleep. What more incentive do you need?
If you can motivate yourself to go out running, or to the gym, and you can leave the kids with your partner or trade off with a friend, you’ve got it covered. But if you’re like the rest of us, you need to find fun ways to be active while you're WITH your children. Luckily, you have children to be active with, so you have a head start! READ POST
“I'm stressed, we're rushing, and before I know it, I'm yelling. When I see the look on his face, I feel awful. He was just being a kid. And I was just stressed out.” -- Dana
As every parent learns, you can't be a good mom or dad when you're stressed out, no matter how positive your intentions.
It's true that modern life creates stress, but it's also true that what stresses out one person may just roll off the back of another. So stress is partly what happens to us, but mostly our reaction to it. Each of us has a responsibility as a parent to manage our own stress. After all, do you want your kids to have the best of you -- or what's left of you?
A three pronged approach works best: READ POST
"Dr. Laura, I'm great with my kids on vacation. But most of the time, I'm just so stressed out, my default is yelling!" -- David
Vacations can sometimes be stressful: airplane flights, extended-family dynamics, disrupted sleep schedules.
But if we pay attention, we can usually structure vacations so that we as parents can slow down a bit and meet our own needs. We get a chance to soak in the sweetness of life, to feel more expansive. That breathing room lets us ease up about the little things, enjoy our children more, and strengthen our connection with them. Naturally, kids respond by relaxing and cooperating more.
If only we could hang on to that relaxed, connected, "vacation" parent all year long!
We can. Or at least, we can come closer to it than we usually do. READ POST
"What I start to feel is not just anger
appropriate to the situation, but old feelings I carry from the past.
And those feelings have nothing to do with my child or the situation.
They have come up for me to take a look at them. They are part of me.
But they don't belong in my relationship with my child. They have to do
with me and the person who raised me." -- Laura Davis & Janis
Life is full of emotions that we don't have time to process in the moment. And if we have kids, we probably have more emotions and less time. Parenting is the hardest job there is. It gives us constant reminders of the places in us that need healing. So it's not surprising that sometimes we just need a good cry. READ POST
“I know one thing for sure. It is
impossible to find one’s own balance from the outside in. I now know
beyond a doubt that finding—and maintaining—our balance is an inside
job.” – Lu Hanessian
As you go through your day, you have a running list. Change the baby, feed the toddler, teach the preschooler to pick up her toys, help the elementary schooler with homework, help the tween braid her hair, negotiate with the teen, make dinner, fold laundry, pay the bills, email your boss, connect with your spouse... the list never stops. But have you fallen off your own list? READ POST