- The Art of Self Care as a Parent -

The first step to happier parenting starts with you and your level of self care.
Is self care a priority in your life?

If not, would you like to learn how you can take better care of yourself in just three minutes a day?

To help you be a happier parent, I have created a new program: The Art of Self Care as a Parent.
Through it, you will learn techniques, strategies, and gain tools that will allow you to feel more balanced, in control of your life, and happier. As a result, you will be a better parent!


Through this program, you will learn:

  • How to make self care a priority
  • How to fit it into your busy schedule
  • How just three minutes a day can have a huge impact on your happiness
  • How you can show up as the parent you want to be
  • How to increase your connection with your kids
  • How you can feel more balanced
  • How to reduce anxiety and guilt
  • How to feel happier!

Program overview:

  • My commitment to you is to guide you through monthly exercises that will allow you to shift into being the parent you want to be.
  • These are exercises and techniques that I use personally and have taught many people with great results.
  • Because ongoing support is so important while you are developing a new way of being, this is a year-long program, enabling you to be solidly supported on your journey to becoming more conscious, relaxed, balanced, and HAPPY!
  • This program respects your time and money. Here at Happy Parents and Kids, we know that both are precious to you!
  • Each of the techniques that you will learn will take only three minutes a day, and the cost for the entire program is only

    Click here to find out more  —–>    - The Art of Self Care as a Parent

Light the Way

Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, is about to begin. I have many friends who are hindu, and love many of the traditions that are a part of this festival. Every day of the festival a god or goddess is appreciated or thanked. I love this tradition of paying attention to the abundance that is occurring in your life and noticing those that have helped you create your life as it is.

During the festival, and throughout this time of year, I like to give some thought to both who has lit the way for me, and how I can help light the way for others.

Do you have a designated time of year (or day, for that matter) to do this for yourself?

I’ve shared over previous emails various ways that I do this on a regular basis. This week, my son and I will take time each day to notice and celebrate the different areas in our lives where we have been fortunate enough to have people support us, lighting our way. Each night before he goes to bed, we will light a candle and make a list of people and the ways that they have lit our way and guided us to more happiness. We will also make a list of how we can help light the way for other people.

Here’s an example:One thing on my son’s list of lighting the way for others is giving his dog a hug. He says this makes her happy—and he is right. Just like people, our dog does not need a gift, she only wants our time and love.

On this Festival of Lights, think about who lights your way, how you light the way for your family, and further ways in which you can light the way for others.

Connection Time: Pumpkin Hunting and Decorating

It’s pumpkin time here in the northeast! I love fall, and I love to go pick pumpkins and decorate the house for fall. My son loves it too.

This week, I encourage you to make a family trip where everyone gets a pumpkin. Let each family member pick their own and then decorate it as they wish.

You could cut them, paint them, carve them, use stickers …   the point is: have fun! Then find a place to display your creativity.

The Wonder of Change

How do you feel about change?

Do you feel change is fun and an adventure? Or is it stressful for you, something you dread and try to avoid?

Change is a part of life. We can’t avoid it. The past couple of weeks I have been talking about change, and this week I invite you to explore your relationship with change.

Back to my first question above: How do you feel about change? Did you answer that you love it, dread it, or are you somewhere in between?

It’s important to be able to answer this question, because how you feel about change affects your parenting. Children change every day, and how you feel about change moves you to either flow with or resist the change that your children are experiencing.

It’s probably obvious to you now that the better you deal with change, the easier and more rewarding your relationship with your children will be. Have you thought about change this way before?

Let me give you a personal example: I used to only really like change that I had control over. Can you relate to this? I thought I liked change, but I protested the season change (I wanted more pool time…), resisted when other people told me things had to change, and balked any other time I was forced to change. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized that I was inflexible to change. After my son was born, I started to see that I was not as easygoing as I thought I was. I liked change, but only when I decided to change.

Once I noticed that I resisted change, I decided to see how I could change my relationship with change. I decided I wanted to embrace change and even make it as fun as I could. With my son, I get to practice this every day. In a way, he has become my teacher. He is almost four years old now, and is all about control and having it be his way. So, every day I get to practice embracing change.

This week, take a look at how you either embrace or resist everyday change, and notice how it affects your relationship with your kids.

Connection Time: The Fun of Milkweed

As the seasons change, so does the outdoor fun.

There is something that my son loves, and I find to be quite a bit of fun myself. Here in Maryland, the milkweed pods are full and ready to harvest. My son loves to help Mother Nature out a bit. He loves to take the pods, open them, and watch the seeds take flight. It fascinates me how much fun he feels this is. This simple activity has kept his attention for up to an hour or two, and it is something that he looks forward to doing each year during fall.

If you have milkweed where you live, try this with your kids. If they are older, maybe it could be a fun art project. Or maybe it’ll just be fun for you!

 

Embracing Change

Many of you know this about me, but for those of you who don’t,I grew up in a military family. My father was a LTC in the army, and I grew up moving almost every year. I got used to change, accustomed to moving. As an adult, I have learned to transfer that ability for adaptation to physical change, and to notice what my inner self is asking for. I talked about this in last weeks newsletter. (Click here to read it.) 

Your kids experience similar feelings and needs in response to  changes of season as you do.

Are they asking to stay inside more?

Take walks?

Watch movies?

Have soup?

I have noticed this with my son.  He wants to wear warm cozy pants and shirts, get tucked under a warm cozy blanket, have warm food, and so on.

Noticing and embracing this change can strengthen your relationship with your kids. It can also make the change in seasons more fun. Kids love to have fun, and if you make change fun they usually embrace it and look forward to it.

My son had a really hard time with the pool closing, but I am helping him look forward to fall by finding the joy in the new season. We are collecting leaves, acorns, hiking a bit more, and pulling our our warm cozy clothes.

My son has always had the tendency to get really stuck on things, as most young children do, so making things an event or something cool to look forward to has really helped him. This is something I learned to do when I was a teacher, and now with my son. By the way, this also works for adults!  If you make change an event or something fun for yourself, then it’s really not so uncomfortable.

Like last week’s theme of noticing change, this week I invite you to do the same, but with your kids. Notice the changes in their desires, how they are tied to the change of season, and how embracing the need to change can create more balance in your kids’ lives. By noticing, honoring, and making these fun for your kids, you will also feel more balanced and at peace.

Connection Time: The Game of Change

I have talked before about my son’s difficulty with change. I do whatever I can to make change a game for him. (By the way, this has helped me have more fun with change also.)

One of the games we play, that fits nicely with fall, is watching for season changes. I ask him to tell me when he starts noticing the leaves change. Then he lets me know what color they are and points them out to me. It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt that is ongoing.

Here is what I have done this fall:

When the pool closed, he was really upset. I started reminding him about the fun we had last fall (the festivals, finding colorful leaves, pumpkins…). We started looking at pictures of fall events, and got books at the library about fall. My son’s birthday is in October, so this also helps me make fall extra fun.

After looking at the books and pictures and talking about the fun events that start after the leaves turn, I ask my son to be on the lookout for the leaves changing.

He loves this. He has already noticed that we have red and yellow leaves by our house. Now he is eager to get ready for halloween, go to fall festivals, find and decorate pumpkins, and so forth. I start it all with watching for the change of the leaves and reminding him how fun fall festivals and seasonal activities are. This is a great reminder for me also.

I find that talking about and identifying the fun of the change to come takes care of much of my son’s resistance. I hope this tip helps you.

Noticing Change

Ian SaneHere on the East Coast, fall has begun. The leaves are starting to change, the nights are getting cool, and outdoor activities are changing. As the seasons change, so do our lives. On the surface, you can see that outdoor activities are changing—from beach trips to fall festivals, from eating ice-cream to drinking warm cider and other fall goodies.

There is an ebb and flow to the seasons, and if you pay attention you’ll see the same thing in all areas of our lives. Our internal needs, feelings, and desires shift like the seasons.

What do you feel drawn to now? Is it different than it was during summer?

Notice what you feel drawn to change or do differently. Do you want to stay in the house more? Do you want to drink more warm liquids? Cook soups, stews, and other warm dishes? Watch movies in bed or near the fireplace?

My point is that, like the seasons, we experience internal shifts throughout the year. If you pay attention to these and honor them, you will feel more balance in your life. This is one of the secrets to the art of self care, especially for parents.

So, if you desire to curl up under a warm blanket, drink hot cider, or do other nurturing activities, then pay attention to how your body is asking you to take care of it.

Do you need more sleep and rest?

Do you need more quiet time?

Or what is it you need?

As I always invite you to do, and will be focusing on more, try to notice what your body and feelings are asking you for. What small change can you make that would honor you and help you take better care of you?

Connection Time- Connecting with yourself!

David OhmerPeople keep asking me what they can do in five minutes or less to go within and connect with themselves. So, here is something you can do. I have shared this exercise with you before, but think it is worth sharing again.

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes.
  • Lie down, close your eyes, and put your hand over your heart. (If you can’t lie down, then get comfortable in a chair.)
  • Make sure you are comfortable and cozy. If needed, put a pillow under your legs, support your head, or get under a blanket.
  • Then, breathe.
  • Notice the rise and fall of your chest and your stomach.
  • Continue breathing until the alarm goes off.

Either go about your day, or drift off to a peaceful night’s sleep.

Enjoy!

By the way, you could do this anywhere. In your car, bed, on the floor, waiting for your kids in a nice comfy chair. Be creative. Just do the exercise and give yourself a bit of self care.

The idea here is that as you need to give more time and energy toward caring for your kids and helping them balance their new routines, you need to take care of yourself. The more you do, the more energy you will have for your kids and the better you will feel overall!

Start Your Self Care Routine Today

Over the month, so many of you have reached out to me. It warms my heart and makes me feel so good that my suggestions are helping you to take better care of yourself, create more quality time with your family, and feel happier overall.

The most important thing that I want you to get out of this month’s topic—“back to basics”—is to start a self care routine and create a daily schedule that works for you. It’s about YOU, Mom and Dad. Happiness in the home starts with you! If you don’t take time to nurture yourself, whatever that looks like for you, then really the whole family’s happiness will suffer.

Each of your situations is different. Some of you have lots of time to take care of yourselves and others have a jam-packed day where even the three minutes I suggest is a struggle. Or if you are like me, the time you have varies from day to day. But whatever your lifestyle, I really cannot stress enough how important your self care is. No matter what your routine looks like, please create one, and give to yourself every day.

I am so passionate about this, and I know that  a simple three-minute routine can drastically change your overall level of happiness. I know this from my own life, from comparing having one and not having one. And numerous clients tell me the same. This is why I have spent so much time talking to you about self care and have created a program to help you master this art. Mom and Dad, it is an art just like anything else you learn to do. It’s an art like riding a bike, learning to walk, talking …  However, once you learn it, you always will have the skill to fall back on, to strengthen, and to use.

So, if you have not committed to a self care routine yet, do it NOW!

You can contact me and I can help you. You can join me and other parents and sign up for my Art of Self Care as a Parent program. Or, you can do it yourself.

But do something, so that you can feel happier, parent happier, and be happier!

 

Happy Parenting!