“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” Kahil Gibran
We have all journeyed through the lessons of winter: hibernation, healing, and inner growth. We see gray skies and lots of cold, icy weather! It can be comforting to pull on warm, cozy clothing, wrap up in a blanket and enjoy a good book. We learn to endure, maybe even embrace the beauty of sparkling snow, and the fresh, brisk air.
Spring is a long awaited season, a time of renewed hope. We begin to see early signs of spring- our first robin, our crocuses begin to peek out, and the sun is out for longer periods of time. It is a natural time to plant seeds, to nurture them, care for them, and protect them from the cold.
We can see the seasons as a metaphor of life. We can learn that change is a natural part of life. We can learn that there are times to bundle up and become quieter, times to plant new seeds of learning, times we need to weather the storms and times we can sit back and soak up the love and warmth that we’ve created.
Parenting is much like the seasons
It’s complicated: growing, changing…ever evolving. When we become new parents we are filled with hopes and dreams and love for our children. Our babies are completely dependent on us- which can be a daunting realization. And just as we get their needs figured out, they change! They grow so quickly and bring us much joy, but also frustration, even anguish.Then they move into their teen years as their bodies and brains once again, change at a rapid rate. They move toward independence, just as they are programmed to do. These changes are ripe for emotional roller coasters.
Mindful parenting teaches us to put on our own life vest, before we attend to our kids.
It teaches us how to care for ourselves, how to calm and steady our own “boat.” And as we learn to treat ourselves well, we teach our children to do the same.
Mindfulness helps us see the stories that we tell about ourselves and our children.
When we learn to parent with mindfulness, we begin to see our children for who they really are. Dropping our stories, we can draw on our own inner wisdom. We can see what’s before us in a different way. We can see “misbehavior” as signals for help and therefore, respond in better ways. We can choose to use discipline as a method to teach, rather than as a punishment.
The fact is, the circumstances don’t change, but our ability to respond differently can. And of course, that changes everything.
Practicing mindfulness as a parent can seem an impossibility, but I assure you, it’s possible! But it does take at least a little space to learn new skills and some dedication to practice. Finding social support is crucial. Learning alongside other parents who are turning toward these skills is a benefit that cannot be overstated.
I warmly invite you to attend our “taster” class.
The taster class will give you an idea of what the 3-week Mindful Parenting course is all about. If you’d like to experience more of what these practices have to offer, you can register for the class from there. We share this class and create community together so we can learn and share our stories and our wisdom. I do hope you will join me!