It’s easy to focus on disciplining our children. After all, they’re young and immature. They make mistakes, and lots of them. Kids need to learn how to behave in the world, and adults have the experience and knowledge required to guide them. Right?
Sort of. Except that sometimes it’s hard to follow our own rules.
How can I teach my kids not to yank toys away from each other if I reach down and yank the offending toy away myself? How can I tell my daughter not to yell at her sister when I yell when I’m angry, upset or irritable? Over and over again I read research that confirms the power of modeling in shaping young children’s behaviour. Children do what we do, not what we say, so why do we focus so much on specific parenting techniques?
2011 is my year for taking a new approach. A mindful, healthy approach that focuses on my own discipline with a sense of playfulness. Playful self-discipline is not about being a perfect parent, or about driving myself into the ground with ever more to-do lists. It’s about being the kind of person I want my kids to look up to. It’s about challenging myself to be more aware and intentional, about developing my self-control and about having more fun.
I believe that focusing on my own self-discipline will help me be a calmer, happier parent. I hope that will radiate outwards to help the rest of the world be a little calmer and happier too.
Each month I write weekly posts around a particular theme. You’re welcome to join in!
January – Physical Health
February – Mindfulness
March – Organization
April – Uncertainty
May – Communication
June – Challenges
July – Beauty
August – Responsibility
September – Emotional Health
October – Gratitude
November – In Ireland