Sunday Family Funday…

A lot of magic happens in our home on Sundays, when we all say ‘no’ to scheduled activities, unplug from the rest of the world and spend the day together as a family. Creativity is at its peak all around and I absolutely love it. I am sharing a few collage pictures of some of our recent Sunday funday activities. These pictures are a celebration of the special moments that we had together as a family. I am wise enough now to now that true happiness is in these simple yet special moments.

My personal parenting goal is to spend at least 30 mins of uninterrupted time with my kids every Sunday. By uninterrupted, I mean really uninterrupted where I am fully present with my kids for those 30 minutes, without really engaging in any thoughts that seem to constantly pop up in my head all the time. This may sound easy to hear but it is very difficult to put into practice. This is still work in progress and some thing to strive for in my case.

Making a decision to not plan any activities for Sundays, keeping our Sundays free to relax, recharge and connect with each other and with ourselves, has been a great decision for our family. We are all learning together as a family that we need to say ‘no’ to a lot of things to be able to make time for things that really matter to us.

A Perfect Day by Lane Smith…

Another amazing picture book with gorgeous illustrations. I love the art in this book. There isn’t a whole lot of text to read, which is perfect for bed time reading. The underlying message is about how a perfect day can easily turn into a not-so-perfect day and also about how what seems like fun to us might ruin another’s experience. There are opportunities to teach perspective taking, like for example, how do you think the Chickadee felt when the bear ate all the seeds? Or, how do you think the bear is feeling here? Do you think he knows that he made the Chickadee sad? Overall, this is a great bed time read.

Anger and Mindfulness in the Parenting Journey…

Parenting is hard as is but it is harder if as a parent, you are carrying your own baggage of anger and resentment from the past. I have this image in my head of a person hiking a steep mountain while stones, big and small (other people’s baggage), are being thrown at them. This person is focused on reaching the top of the mountain while also trying to enjoy the journey to the top. They have become very good at catching the stones that are being thrown at them and throwing them back towards the people who threw them in the first place. Now imagine them carrying a heavy bag of their own on their back. They feel the weight of it but they ignore it in the beginning. The longer they ignore it, the heavier it gets. They are no longer enjoying the journey because they are more irritable, less mindful and more exhausted now. This is how I imagine pent up anger and resentment affecting us as parents. It is hard to put that bag down, go through it’s contents carefully and toss them away. It requires a lot of time and effort from our side. But, we owe this to ourselves and to our children.

The root cause of anger is hurt. Unless we resolve our own hurt feelings, we won’t be able to raise emotionally well rounded kids. But, how exactly can we accomplish this? By taking care of our anger the same way we take care of our children. By turning inwards as opposed to outwards. By bathing our internal formations, our blocks of suffering, in the rain of mindfulness. As Thich Nhat Hanh says in my #currentread, what do you do when your house is on fire? You do everything you can to save your house from burning down. It’s not wise to go after the person who burnt your house when your house is in flames, is it?

I have seen so many relationships dismantle because both parties are unable to resolve their own hurt feelings and reestablish communication. It’s not worth it. I have also seen the cycle of hurt, anger and resentment being passed down through generations in families. All it takes is one conscious and motivated parent to put an end to this cycle. The following powerful quote from the book: 10 Mindful Minutes by Goldie Hawn, comes to my mind in this context:

“If a peaceful child can create a peaceful world, then a peaceful parent can create a peaceful child.”