Friday, November 8, 2013

Mindful Parenting- Playing

I can't say that I am a good parent. Quite frankly, I am not sure what being a "good parent" means. I do my best like most parents. We try to juggle our schedules between work and family and hope in the end we raise normal kids who have a good head on their shoulders with a basic moral foundation. I have been reading a lot about mindfulness. I recommend going to www.mindful.org. I have tried to be more mindful in my daily life. I have stumbled many times. However, what I learned more than anything else is that my kids help me be in the moment.

For example, last night my son was complaining that I have not spent a lot of time with him. I responded that I have. But, he said, "Dad, I mean you have not spent a lot of time with me playing." He was right. Sure, I was spending "time" with him, but was a really "present" mentally. Of course not, I was thinking about work or the football game the next day or about ObamaCare or global warming or any other thing that came across my mind. I was not focusin on my child who was right in front of me.

When you play with your child, you have no option but to be in the moment. Playing is one of the most basic activities of being in the moment. So, before dinner, he and I played Legos, which I loved as a kid and still do. However, today, there are a lot more cooler Lego products than when I was a child. There are Star Wars Legos and Harry Potter Legos. Have you ever done a crossover where the Star Wars Legos and Harry Potter Legos meet up. You know, Valdamort and Vader team up against Harry and Luke. My kids and I did that and it was so much fun. When I play with my kids, I am in the moment. If I am not, my kids will let me know that I am not because you cannot really play unless you are in the moment.

So, if you son or daugther complain that you are not spending enough time with them, they mean that you are not in the moment with them. Turn off your Iphone, computer or kindle and go and play with them. They will appreciate it and you will too.