One thing that parents forget to practice and teach

One thing that parents forget to practice and teach

As parents, we all have that one mom friend (or perhaps two) whose parenting style we hope to emulate. Her kids are smart but not pompous, well behaved but not stifled, kind to others but not just when the parents are watching. 

My cousin, Kristy, is that mom in my life. I'm lucky enough 1) to have her AND 2) to have her write a post for my "unCOMMON SENSE Parenting" series. Namaste, Kristy!

Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Breath has always been in my conscience since I suffered from asthma as a child, to having the wind knocked out of me countless times in sports, to the most memorable time walking down the aisle (ok my backyard) at my wedding. Dad stopping me saying,

"Just breathe."

I did just that, letting the moment and emotions sink in.

It is, therefore, obvious that breathing would be a large factor in my role as a mother. Here are two ways in which I use breath:

1) I use my breath when I repeat myself for the hundredth time, or when I am busy and being asked to drop everything to help a child, or when I want to give a smart comment to a ridiculous question. My breath saves me and my temper a lot.  I enjoy breathing as an exercise in yoga and meditation, but that is another topic for another day.

2) And, I use breathing as a way for my children to get control of their emotions as well.  I learned from acupuncture that your mind can only focus on two things at a time, so if you think about breathing and counting, you will not think about anger, pain or frustration.

When one of my children has a stressful moment, be it injury, fear, or frustration, the first thing I suggest is breathing.  When you have your breath under control, the rest of your body follows.  We breathe five deep breathes for injuries and shots, involve the body by holding each other's hands, locking eyes, and breathing together.  Frustration is a little harder, but I ask them to breathe and express their emotion in words.

So, smile, breathe and go slowly (or at least 2 out of 3)! -  Thich Nhat Hanh

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