on Mental Health

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Parenting: yes, you have what it takes

Elisha Goldstein shares this introduction to his new e-book, Mindfulness Meditations for the Frantic Parent.

When my wife and I first became parents we were on the hunt for great baby books that would help us be as prepared as we needed to be. I had Benjamin Franklin’s voice in my head, “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” Some of the books seemed legitimately helpful for nursing, sleeping, getting rid of eye gook, rashes, how to deal with tantrums, and other baby-related issues.

Then we were lucky enough to be invited to a private talk by the famous pediatrician and author Berry Brazelton. Toward the end of his talk he said, “You know, it may just be that the enormous field of childhood parenting books has done parents a disservice. It has sent them the message that they need to look to experts to find answers, when oftentimes the answers lie within. They always have.”

These were the words I was looking for.

And so it is, parenting is about tapping into that space of awareness and tuning into our inner world to nurture the trust that we have what it takes. This isn’t a declaration against parenting experts, but an attempt to temper the all-too-common belief that we can’t rely on our intuition to raise our children.

Losing our minds (and tempers at times) is part and parcel of being a parent.

  • It’s when you’re making dinner and your child runs around the house banging spoons on the walls and furniture and you shout a fiery, “NO!,” leaving him in tears.
  • It’s when you’re trying to get your child out of the house and she refuses to put on her shoes that you grab her a little too hard.
  • It’s when your child continues to try to get your attention while you’re speaking with someone on the phone, and as you have visions of yelling at him, “Will you just be quiet already?”
  • It’s in the middle of the day when you’re with the kids and feeling overwhelmed, you check out mentally thinking about how great it’s going to be when they fall asleep and you can relax in front of the television.

At the end of all these scenarios—at some point—shame, frustration, and guilt wash over you leaving you feeling like you’ve failed as a parent.

The short practices in this e-book are meant to help you break free from the automatic reactivity that can lead you to become a frantic parent. They will teach you to approach difficult parenting moments with more grace, tapping into your innate intuition for what really matters moment to moment. In essence, you will start to see that this very moment can change the rest of your life—Now.

 


To purchase Mindfulness Meditations for the Frantic Parent, click here.

posted by Line Goguen-Hughes, 10:09 am