Today I had the honor of being a guest on Dr. Phil Dembo’s Blog Talk Radio show called The Parent Coach. If you’d like to hear this 15 minute interview, inspiring us as parents to slow down, click here. We talked about a fabulous topic (and one we post about frequently here on MMM) the “slow” movement in parenting.
For me, as a parent of four, when I think about slowing our family life down, there are a few important places I look to in my approach to parenting:
1- Tuning into intuition. It is important to my husband and I that in our home, we value emotion as equal to if not more powerful than intellect. This may seem counterculture as when we look to the world around us it tells us and our kids that the head rules, that things need to make “sense” and that following the heart is the weaker path. But we question this in our home and value being a high EQ family… not just a high IQ one. As parents, when we trust our little voice inside – our kids learn to as well. What a powerful gift to model trusting ourselves for our kids. Intuition. It resides in our body. Body wisdom. It is present for us, holding wisdom and truth in this moment… not the past, not the future, but right here, right now. When we practice tuning in – breathing – and seeing what is there for us, we are actually practicing mindfulness. What a powerful way to slow life down. Pausing to listen to that still small voice that resides within each of us, even if, especially if, life is feeling crazy.
2- Valuing connection. Talk about the connection you have to one another in your family and how important this is to you. Talk about the connection you have to your self – that your child has to his or herself. This conversation of connection has been shown to be the most important thing you can do for your child to ensure their happiness as an adult. It’s been shown that of 12,000 tweens and teens, the most important indicator of if a child will avoid behaviors such as drug abuse, early sexual activity, depression and suicide is if they feel CONNECTED at home and at school. (I talk more about this study here.)
3- And finally PLAYFULNESS!!! Being playful is a wonderful way to slow life down. Begin by moving at your child’s pace for one hour of one day. Let them lead the fun. Stop and examine the worm on the sidewalk or the weed growing out of the crack between the step and the house that your little one notices as you all are heading to the car. Normally you might have brushed this opportunity off, saying, “That’s nice, now come on. Let’s go. Hop on in the car sweetie!” It works with older kids too. Just give them the opportunity and they will lead you to the fun. Our kids are MASTERS at being present to the joy that each moment holds. If we but slow ourselves down to be playful with them – if we let them lead and we but follow, we can be present to the silliness and sheer joy of this moment. Let’s slow life down by being more PLAYFUL PARENTS. Our kids have something to remind us— how we once PLAYED through the day instead struggled through it.
For those interested in learning more about the online course Dr. Phil and I discussed called Yoga Parenting, we’d like to offer you the opportunity to receive Lesson One on Centering free.
Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommy-ing to two magical girls and twins born in 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Educator of Infant Massage and health education teacher. Suzanne is the Co-creator of My Mommy Manual and the online parenting course, Yoga Parenting.