A smidge of Yoda, a birth and birthing day and six gifts to keep giving YOUR child
how to be a walking Momtra™ is not a mommy blog (nor is the book necessarily Mommy-centric). how to be a walking Momtra™ is not about tales from my motherhood experience nor is it about parenting per se. What it is about is living a life on purpose; a life with purpose. You could call that mindfulness, self-awareness or being emotionally responsible and connected but whatever the label assigned, the mission here is to continually find ways of thinking and doing that yield a rich, vibrant life experience.
Do or do not. There is no try. ~ Yoda
In honor of my son’s birthday today and yours truly giving birth six years ago in Amsterdam, I wanted to share what I believe to be six powerful gifts you can give to your child on a continual basis that double as gifts for your happiness for a number of reasons as well. You might agree that seeing them able to maneuver as smoothly as possible emotionally through life is a boogie woogie one? Capable child a happy parent make, Yoda might say.
Amsterdam, circa 2002
Amsterdammertje, circa 2011 (Happy Birthday!)
SIX GIFTS TO RECYCLE DAILY:
1) Teach them every day via the growth mindset; reiterate the importance of bumps, obstacles and falling as all part of the journey for every person on the planet. One thing we humans, both child and adult size don’t realize or allow ourselves to understand is that nobody is exempt from making mistakes. We tend to beat ourselves up thinking other people’s lives are perfect, or at least more perfect than our own which causes unnecessary stress and sadness. Teaching our kids that everyone experiences similar things can only help them emotionally as they grow. Mistakes are part of the journey of a successful, happy life. This is what the human experience is all about: how we come back stronger…
2) There are few things we have true control over. One of them is our breath. Begin at a young age to teach them they can control their worries, anxiety or nerves by tuning into the quality and calm flow of each inhale and exhale. In your words for your child, explain to them the power behind this practice. Even as little as five or 10 deep “into the belly” breaths stimulates the “ relaxation response”. Doing this with them in bed every night is a great start turned evening tradition…
3) Hug. Hugging releases oxytocin (the love hormone). Physical contact of any kind not only teaches our children the value of human contact (compassion and seeing ourselves in others) but shows them the purest form of affection ~ that, of a parent. (bonus: always look for reasons to laugh with them. Extra credit when it’s during a tough situation)
4) Foster valued, deep relationships ~ as much as you can and visibly (!) ~ in front of your children. For example, make consistent time for your spouse (hug and share stolen moments with each other) and treat friends and family with respect. Doing this all in front of your kids helps engrain what connection looks, feels and sounds like. Especially consistently over time what you’ll be teaching is that connection and common ground is always achievable, no matter the situation.
5) Tell your child you like them. Love and “I love you” will always create alchemy but when was the last time you told them you liked them and, maybe, specifically what you really appreciate and LIKE about them. A thumbs up.
6) Be what you want them to be. Similar to number four, be mindful of your daily (hourly) actions, words, even your thoughts. The more often you do your best the more you’re giving them to go/feed on; the more you’re setting them up for success. Remembering that learning is not just reserved for kids is also key. Continue to ask more from yourself first as a human being second as a parent (your parental self will only benefit from the former commitment via the trickle down theory;-).
Live your legacy everyday, committing to it every morning. In the best of ways, your kids will remember your traits.
More Creative Ideas from WM, Creativity Rules page.
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