With the holidays upon us, we – as parents – have a tall order ahead of us. The gift list. Keeping our kids up- to-the-minute and happy… All while juggling the hustle and bustle and stress that sometimes rides in on the coat tail of the season.
Written by: Camille Lucy
While technology is certainly advantageous, with iPads, iPhones, iThis and iThat out there, there is a disconnect in the home. More time is being spent virtually, with technology rather than with people. Certainly you’ll see a relative or two absorbed in their smart devices instead of mingling around the dinner table or beautifully lit tree.
Amidst all of the technological advances (distractions), the seeming chaos and turmoil on the news, and the decline in good ole’ fashion fun (traditions, rituals, quality time spent together and with nature), parents have all the more pressure on them to focus on what is really important and instill that in their children.
Here is a list of 5 priceless gifts that also happen to be free, that every parent may bless their child with. These gifts last a lifetime, not a New York minute until the next fad.
Being physically present is not the same as being fully present with the little ones. If you are emotionally absent, it’s like you’re not even there. Staying present and connected during your time spent together will make a huge impact on your relationship with your child(ren) Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.”
Living deeply, connected to your child, means being in the here and Now with them. Paying attention, experiencing the moment.
Thinking about that growing to-do list, or an argument you had, or what to make for dinner will only distract you away from spending time with your child. If you catch your mind wandering, no big deal! Bring it back to the moment and fully engage your child. Maintain eye contact and touch. Diving in with body, mind and soul will help to keep you from becoming distracted and will enhance the enjoyment of the experience for both you and your child.
Take inventory of yourself, how you are parenting your child, the behaviors you see cropping up (good or bad). Our children can be mirrors of our worst behaviors and conditioning. Our patterns. An anonymous author once wrote, “Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” The way your child plays says a lot about their state of mind, and their inner world. Pay close attention, notice any red flags, and celebrate the positive things you see.
You are not paying attention so you can punish. Remain non-judgmental. You are simply observing the present, the Now. What is. And what is not. Be mindful of your own actions, behaviors, words and emotions around your child, and about your child. Everything is energy and what we think or feel seeps out into the material world. Your child is sensitive to this; they pick up on your energy whether you realize it or not. It permeates their world.
One particular thing to be mindful of are the words you speak. Honor your word and keep your promises. Empty promises leave a trail of destruction and broken trust in their wake. Broken trust leaves a child (or anyone) feeling very unsafe, unstable and afraid. This can also make a child feel unimportant, unloved and unseen. Choose your words carefully; you may want to make him feel better but a lie is a lie is a lie. Lying to manipulate his or her emotions, even if its done with good intent to cultivate positive emotions, can birth heavy consequences. Rather, be truthful, and gentle. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Not only does this gift your child with confidence, safety and a feeling of love and trust, but you will gain integrity.
At every opportunity (which is available infinitely), show your child love. Do it with affection and touch. Do it with words and actions. Love can be as simple as telling your child it’s okay to make mistakes. Or by holding their hand when they are upset. By playing his or her favorite game. By reading them a nighttime story. By boosting your childs confidence. There are ample ways (endless, really) to show and express your love.
Showing your child love – real love, not the judgmental and conditional kind we think is love – sets them up with a solid foundation for a lifetime of health and well-being.
There is one universal gift that not only benefits your child, but the whole of mankind. As Emma Goldman said, “No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” One person’s kindness has a ripple effect that touches the world in a quick sweep. And it returns back to your child, as well. Kindness can eradicate bullying, violence and hate crimes. It can decrease the number of suicides. Our children possess this magnificent gift.
What we pass on to our children becomes the world, it is manifested into reality. Whatever it is we want for our children in their lifetime, we need to begin it at home. Kindness breeds kindness. Love shared is love gained and spread through out the Universe. Doing good not only affects the one receiving, it benefits the one giving, as well. Do good, feel good. So simple And lastly, let’s not forget the golden rule… treat others as you wish to be treated.
Camille Lucy is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Certified Reiki Practitioner, graphic and web designer, business consultant, and Vice President of a local non-profit that “rehabilitates people through animals.” She is also a writer, a Mother of 3 precious girls, an artist, a Life-and-Love Junkie, a Self-Expression and Development advocate, and – well, you get the point. She’s a lot of things, just like all of us. Camille is also author of, “The (Real) Love Experiment: Explore Love, Relationships & The Self.” Learn more about her and her adventure(s) at www.LiveFullToday.com.