OK, let's be real, as great as parenting and educating mindfully SOUNDS it is not always an EASY feat - no matter how much I teach it, I will never ignore that fact. There are endless reasons for why this technique is amazing and the transformation that it will bring, whether in your home or your classroom, but when it's not what you grew up with it takes a lot of effort.
You can do it...
One main reason that people struggle with doing anything mindfully is because of the chaos and stress happening already.
As a parent attempting to mindfully parent your children you may feel that you just can't right now because:
- The house is a wild jungle
- They don't listen already
- They act like they don't understand until I raise my voice
- My partner is not on board and I feel like I'm doing it on my own
- I have much bigger issues that need my attention first
- I can't even hear my own thoughts I'm so stressed right now
As a teacher it may sound like,
- I have 45 kids in my class and you expect me to do what?!
- My admin is not supportive, making things worse
- I am under a lot of pressure to meet certain evaluation standards
- I can barely even teach my lessons in the time that I have right now
Trust me, I get it! I understand!
But, just hear me out?
Parenting and educating mindfully are meant to not only help the children grow mentally and emotionally (amongst many other things) but also relieve some of these other stressors.
The idea is that as you shift and intentionally incorporate mindfulness the other things will begin to shift as well. "But how do I get there, Khia?"
Glad you asked, hehe.
1. Stay the Course
I don't ever want to present mindful parenting and educating as if it is an overnight miracle worker. Using mindfulness is a daily practice that requires you to continue using it day after day, hour after hour to see the results. Here's why - we parent and educate the way that we have seen it done, even when we are very aware of the flaws that those ways presented. As a foster parent I learned that the hard way - I knew exactly the way that I wanted to parent but when the behaviors were actually there and I was tested daily I saw parts of my parents coming out that I thought I would be able to automatically not do because I hated them when I was growing up. It was way harder to be different than I expected, particularly in the most stressful situations. I had to learn how to respond as Khia wants to respond and not the way that I was taught to respond. It is work but I don't want you to shy away from the work because the end result is so worth it. So, stay the course and don't give up when it feels like it isn't working.
2. The "G" Word
GRACE. Give it to yourself. Give it to the children. As I already mentioned, this is not easy work, so you will need a lot of grace as you begin to implement these new tools you are learning. Think about when you start a new position at work or when you first started your current position - you had the knowledge and the tools to be great and to get it done but there is ALWAYS a learning curve. Even if you did the exact same job at another company when you start with a new one you still have to learn new systems, a new culture, new processes, etc. and this is no different. So give yourself some grace - you won't get it perfect the first time around but you will get it and that is the important part but remember that the only way to get better at it is to keep practicing.
3. They deserve the same thing
Give the children grace as well. One thing that I have to remind my team of is that changing behaviors takes time. If you are newly implementing mindfulness with your 15 year old sophomores you are undoing 15 YEARS of learned behaviors! How long do you think that will take?! Not 15 more years for most things thankfully, but it is not realistic to expect them to change in 2 or even 10 weeks. One of the most difficult things that therapists face is that sometimes we don't get to be the ones that really see the big changes so it requires us to really know our stuff, do quality work, pour into our clients consistently, and pray for the best, lol, jk, and remember that we can only do so much, they have to make the decision to implement what we teach. So, not only do I want you to give them some grace to learn and change just as you are doing but also take some of the weight off of yourself and be confident that it is going to pay off and that some things they just have to learn in their own in time.
You got this!!! I promise! And I am here to help!
For the rest of November only (or until all slots are booked) I have a limited number of 90 minute sessions for ONLY $97 (over half off my 60 min session prices) where we can discuss what is stressing you and keeping you from using mindfulness and I will give you solutions that you can implement IMMEDIATELY to reduce stress, increase your child/students' mental wellness and strength, and change things for the better. Just sign up here and I will get back with you on reserving your spot.