Our society focuses so much on ‘doing’, busyness and productivity. Heart centred parenting encourages us to actually slow down, and take notice of who we ARE when we are with our children.
In the years to come our children won’t remember all the specific details of our actions and activities, but they will have an innate sense of how we made them feel.
Rather than creating a ‘to-do list’ to focus our parenting, we can create a far more aspirational form of this tool - a ‘to-be list’.
This allows us to move beyond the ‘what’ we do with, and for, our children, and delve into ‘how’ we wish to be, and also why. Actions will suggest themselves, and be weighed against, the values we set ourselves up to strive toward.
Who do you want to BE as a parent?
If above all else, you want to be a kind parent, then this tops your ‘to-be list’. It will focus you on speaking with kindness, showing empathy, listening intently and being thoughtful in your interactions.
If being calm is your key ‘to-be’, then your daily tasks become adopting a slower pace, prioritising the pause before responding, and engaging in your own soul food activities so you can remain centred. It may prompt you to do things like prep for meals early in the day to avoid the stressful evening panic. It may involve saying no to some commitments and leaving space in your schedule to just be, and to breathe.
If you want to be a parent who is fun, then you’ll be infusing humour into your stories, sharing little jokes, and having spontaneous games and ‘lounge dance parties’ into your times of connection with your children.
A ‘to-be list’ takes us to heart of conscious parenting, and allows us to steer our ship the way we choose. We can’t control all circumstances, or our children’s actions, but we have control over our response.
A 'check-in' list
Our ‘to-be list’ isn’t so much something to check off, but something to check-in with. We know how it feels when we are off course, and it is useful to have an anchor to draw us back to where want to be.
Not all parenting waters are smooth, and we want to do more than just tread water and try to hold our heads afloat. Let your ‘to-be list’ buoy you as you nurture your beautiful parent-child relationship.