All too often, I find myself reaching for the phone just to distract me from whatever it is that is going on around me. I obsessively check emails and social media, missing out – somewhat purposely- disconnecting myself from my environment and my kids.
While I am totally enjoying our move to Maplewood, and playing with Shay and Sage in the yard, watching them run in the grass, I also find myself lacking patience and concentration with my kids at times. Even sitting on the couch watching Curious George with my son, he will see me staring down at my phone and ask me to look up and watch his video with him. I also need to curb my habit of yelling and getting frustrated. For those who know me as a yoga teacher who is generally good spirited, you may not recognize the person who is threatening to take away screen time if her child does not put his shoes on and get out the door.
I am hoping from this challenge, I will learn to disconnect from overly focusing on technology and learn to be more present, grounded and patient with my children.
I expect this to be a continuous challenge, far beyond these 30 days. But as studies have shown, 30 days often helps cement a new habit or break an unneeded one.
When I get the urge to reach for my phone, ask myself- do I really need to check it? Are there truly pressing issues I need to attend to? Sometime, there will be legitimate reasons to handle, but to take a pause and see if it is necessary to plug in.
When with my children, reminding myself to focus back to myself before reacting. It could be simply a breath, or reminding myself that I should not expect immature beings to always act like mature little people. This does not mean that I let them run the joint and call the shots, but to know that kids will act like kids. Be a supportive parent and help steer their behavior instead of having my own fit when their behavior is not meeting my expectation.
Who wants to take this challenge with me? Tag us with #PYCmindfulparenting and share both your trying and successful moments with us! Together, we can help each other to be more present to what is going on around us.
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