New York Times business writer Charles Duhigg recently mentioned in an interview that his next personal project is “being more present” with his kids.
Fresh Air’s Terry Gross was interviewing Duhigg about his new book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. The book explores the science behind why habits exist and how they can be changed. (For more about the book, click here.) But what caught our attention was that, in the last four minutes of the interview, Gross asked Duhigg, “What habits are on your list to be broken?”—and here’s what he answered:
“I’ll be honest—the number one habit I want to change right now, and this is a hard one, I think, for a lot of people because it’s not a physical behavior. It’s being more present in my children’s lives. I have a three-year-old and I have a ten-month-old, and it’s really easy with kids, to kind of mentally ‘check out.’ Right? To not fully invest in what they’re doing. And I want to change that habit. I’ve been thinking about creating cues and rewards in order to create a habit where when I’m with my children, I’m really investing in them. And I’m playing with them and engaging with them. That’s the one I’m working on right now.”
We at Mindful.org were inspired to put together a shortlist of stories about mindful parenting to inspire all of us parents who, like Mr. Duhigg, are trying to be more present with our children. Here they are:
Parenting Happily: As parents, we experience stress at various times during the day—whether during a hectic morning routine, a hurried bedtime ritual, or a silent drive to school. But mindfulness can help in many ways, says psychologist Raelynn Maloney.
8 Mindful Practices for Parents: Author Karen Maezen Miller offers quick and practical guidelines for maintaining a mindfulness practice throughout your day.
The “About to” Moment: Children learn largely by example. Susan Kaiser Greenland explains how to use daily parenting “about to” moments to your advantage.
Listen to the full interview with Charles Duhigg below (38 minutes), or click to read the summary here.