When I think about the parent I want to be, the word foundation has come up recently…
There are a few different ways to think about this word, right A foundation can be something that provides support for something else… Or an underlying basis or principle for something.
When I work with parents and teachers, I found that not only is the theory behind Positive Discipline an important foundational piece, but so is the internal experience of the individual.
You know what I mean?
I am talking about all the emotions and thoughts that are taking up space in your body as you are interacting with the kids in your life.
I am talking about how you are feeling physically inside your body.
All of this is foundation.
All of this affects how we show up as parents, regardless of the tools or philosophies we have chosen to use.
At a very basic level, there are some things I recognize as providing a shaky foundation when it comes to being the parent I want to be.
Lack of sleep – when I give in to the desire to stay up late at night, I wake in the morning a bit more short tempered, a bit foggier. When I am in this state with my kids, I find that I am quicker to react, and less likely to see situations through the eyes of my kids…. Leading me down the path of taking things personally and criticizing – not helpful, and at times, hurtful.
Distracted by Technology – I am here to admit that I have a problem with technology. I am so grateful and blessed to have work that I love and am passionate about. I would happily work on my parent offerings 24/7 – I repeat, I LOVE MY WORK. I have recently become willing to see this as the problem it is. I am on my computer or my phone when I should be connecting with my family. I am distracted and feeling more of a pull to technology than to my kids. Ugh, I have pain in the pit of my stomach coming clean about this – I mean, my work is about ENCOURAGING PARENTS TO CREATE CONNECTION AND RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR KIDS!!!
Not making time for self care – yes, self care to me is about exercise and me time, it’s also about meditating and quiet reflection. When I get out of the habit of scheduling in this time, I find that resentment creeps in. I begin to resent my family and the demands that show up with being a mother.
So here are my new declarations for rebuilding the foundation I need to be a connected, present parent:
Sleep – I will get 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night. I will take advantage of that “after bedtime” time and do my own winding down rituals. I will move my body with some yoga, I will take time to read, I will write down gratitude for all the goodness in my life. I will not bring my computer upstairs.
Technology – I will keep my phone on airplane mode until 8:15 am (this is when the school bus picks up my youngest), and I will put it back into airplane mode at 5pm each evening. I will keep those hours for working on my computer as well. My laptop will stay in my office from 5pm – 8:15am.
Self Care – I will schedule self care and have it on my calendar. I will follow my own routine in the morning for getting my needs met – daily meditation/intention setting is a MUST for me, it is a commitment to showing up as my best…
Ok, its all good to make these plans, now its time to get accountable. When my kids agree to things, agreements are put up for the family to see, as a reminder to the person and also a way to ensure accountability.
I will post my commitments to growing my foundation on the fridge. I will open up for my family to remind me of what I have agreed to . I will do it for one week, then assess and tweak as necessary. In turn, I will be an example to my family, I will be walking my talk and creating a “do as I do” experience.
Where is your foundation weak? What small changes can you make to strengthen it? Click here and let us know!!