Raising a kid or two in modern society is no easy task. Parents find themselves buried under huge piles of advice and rules that they have to follow in order to meet all the expectations of modern parenthood. I will not come along yet with another set of rules parents should or must follow. I’d much rather share a new point of view and my personal experience. If it resonates with you, give it a try.
In my explorations of super tools for parenting, meditation was the tool that helped me the most. I applied this tool specifically at bedtime as I tended to get overwhelmed by the sometimes chaotic bedtime routine. Winding down with my two boys, by practicing basic mindfulness techniques such as gratefulness, loving, kindness or simply breathing transformed our evenings from chaos into the most anticipated part of the day for the entire family, here is why:
I built stronger bonds with my kids.
The general misconception is that meditation has to be this deep, transcendent mind state where you must empty your mind completely. I would reword this sentence to “I’m sure if you practice it for a long time, you could possibly reach that state, but that was not the case for me.
To start, I just sat with my rascals for five minutes at a time and practiced a gratefulness meditation, where we went through things that we were grateful for.
This practice created a pleasant and meditative state by sharing this positive experience, our bond, and understanding of one another became much deeper.
I am teaching them a life skill.
Do you remember as a child, when you believed every single family in the world had the same family rituals as yours? You thought that everyone’s dad and mom had the same jobs, ate the same dinners and went to the same holiday spots?
Whatever routines and rituals you establish for your kids, will become their normality, an integrated part of their adult lives.
Meditation is a powerful tool to have in life, especially in difficult moments. Practicing mindfulness on a daily basis will strengthen the connection with their inner self and help them become better humans.
Mediation, or other meditative practice, is a necessary skill in our modern lives, right up there along the daily showers and brushing teeth twice a day.
Isn’t it strange that we are so obedient to our body’s hygiene but we don’t pay enough attention to our spiritual fitness?
Meditation is like a shower for the soul, removing the excess of negative and self-destructive thoughts.
I forgot what a bad bedtime routine is.
Using guided meditation is a fantastic way to naturally induce sleep.
I would suggest using apps such as Simple Habit or Calm, where you can program the duration of the meditation and use various relaxing background sounds.
Not once did either of my boys resist more than 5 minutes of calm, relaxing forest sound and those eyes closed by the third and fourth minute. Ahhhh, the peace and quiet!
Needless to say, this ease into sleep is as fantastic for the child as it is for the parents! Countless nights I found myself falling asleep along with my boys listening to the sounds of nature.
Over time, my boys have become so accustomed to the routine that simply by settling into the meditation they will fall asleep within the first few minutes of the practice.
Meditation keeps on giving the next day.
As a result of falling asleep in a natural way, children and parents tend to be calmer and more in control of their emotions the next day.
To reinforce the effect of the gratefulness practice, we have introduced the gratitude jar where the boys write on a piece of paper things they are grateful for and keep it in the jar that sits in a visible place in the house as a reminder.
I was wondering why meditation now and not 30 years ago? Is it a fad? Something we have to tick the box for in order to be contemporary?
Maybe, maybe not. The pressures of the modern life we experience today are much bigger compared to our parents’ lives. Meditative practices are an antidote against mental and emotional exhaustion, big words for a simple concept: sit, breathe and just be.
I am a mother of two, passionate about self-development with a grand vision of connecting people passionate about self-development and personal growth.
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