You have probably heard a 100 times before. Spending one on one time with each of your children on a daily basis does wonders for your relationship.
And I couldn’t agree more.
However, I also know that life throws us curve balls at times. That things happen – our mood shifts. Our child has a play date / is out with friends – and despite our best intentions – special time doesn’t happen.
Much like the morning meditation practice you vowed to keep up in 2020 occasionally goes out the window because … you guessed it: LIFE HAPPENS!
So should we just forget about it?
No. But consider this:
While there is no end to the benefits of meditation – it is easy to compartmentalise this practice so that it is altogether detached from your life. The messy, chaotic, hectic, wonderful life that plays out every minute of your day.
Meditation on the go – a practice of checking in for 30 sec – whilst WITH your family – gives you the immediate benefit of being less reactionary and responding from a ‘saner’ place in within you.
Similarly – there is a way of entering into our child’s world in the here and now. Wherever you are. It doesn’t take 10 minutes. It need not be scheduled or feel contrived. But the effect is immense.
Here’s how it works
Younger children are absorbed by the present moment. Everything they do is governed by desire, curiosity and an urge to explore. This is often at odds with our way of being in the world; – holding in mind both a past, present and future. And when we lose sight of the hear and now and start getting feeling anxious about all he things we have to do, places we have to be and begin to rush and command – our children often respond by digging their heels in.
They seem to be saying:
This is too fast for me. Slow down!!
And it is in these moments – and ideally before our child reminds us – that we do well to enter into their world and take a different perspective for a second.
The partner test:
Imagine if your partner demanded you turn your laptop off
“NOOOW. Or else you could forget about dessert”
Or that while chatting with your friend – your partner said;
“Come oooon. Alright then – bye bye”
You would see red!
And children are no different. They are just more powerless
to stand up to us when we deal with our frustration by abusing our power in this way.
My invitation to you is to try this:
- Take a deep breath before you repeat your instruction.
- GET CURIOUS; what’s my child doing?
- TRUST: that 30sec or 2 min if often well invested. And means the difference between a moment of power struggle versus a moment of mutual respect.
As with anything – once we relinquish our control or tight grip and instead loosen up a little and allow a little space – things tend to run more smoothly.
I always akin it to the process of untangling a necklace. The more I frantically pull the necklace and rush the process – the more frustrated I get – and the more likely I am to chuck it to one side.
It isn’t till I accept that there is a process – one that I can’t force – that I complete the mission.
Merely remembering what it’s like to be deep in play or wanting to finish off what you’re doing will help you to empathise with your child when you find yourself getting frustrated. Their original intent was never to be play games with us or deliberately ignore us.