My kids are wonderful and I love them. I know that I, like all parents, will probably screw them up in some way or another. I know that they are not perfect and are not guaranteed to be millionaires, cure cancer, or invent the next big thing. Honestly, what I hope most for my kids in this whole life is that they find they are generally happy and can support themselves. So, how do I get them from here to there? Well, I do the best thing a curious mom can do……read.
I read to my kids and I read about raising kids and the science behind their little minds. I’ve written other reviews about books that I’ve read regarding kids and raising them (click on the Books tag to the left). The problem becomes for me that I need the constant reinforcement of these principles just like I need a daily yoga practice. When I don’t have a daily yoga practice, I hurt more the next time I do it, I feel unbalanced, and I don’t connect as easily. My center gets out of whack without practice and it stagnates my parenting as well. I need daily reminders and constant refreshers on what is going on inside their little beautiful heads.
The two books that have done that for me lately are How Children Succeed by Paul Tough and The Whole-Brain Child by Dan Siegel and Tina Bryson. What did these two books do for me and why should you read them? Well, they gave me this list of reminders about my kids:
- My kids are kids….not little adults and they can’t be expected to act like adults. So, sometimes I have to roll with the punches and let go of a little control to allow them to be kids. But, I also have to wear kid gloves when I handle them sometimes because they are precious and young.
- My kids are growing and changing every day……in yoga we talk about this in regards to know that an emotion, a thought, an action are not definitive of who you are….they are passing, fleeting moments in your existence and you have the ability to change each and every day and grow into yourself and the centered and whole values that you represent. My kids won’t always be full of fart jokes and won’t always forget their pleases and thank yous, I can’t expect them to keep it together all of the time, but every interaction with them matters.
- My kids need responsibility…..this will help them learn how to fail and that it’s my job to help them through the emotions of both failure and success. I shouldn’t do it all for them, but at 3 and 5 I can’t expect them to do it all alone. When they are mad they may not be able to express it, but when they are glad, they might not know what to do with that either. I have to make them try hard at things and whatever the outcome, we celebrate the effort. Yoga, like parenting and life, is a practice we do every day…..not a seeking of perfection….but we enjoy the present, the moment.
- I can undo the bad. I think this is the biggest take-away that all parents need to hear. We can’t be on our game 100% of the time. And if I lose my cool, I can still repair what has been done. I can teach my kids to learn from my mistakes as well as from their own. We can move forward.
The first book by Paul Tough cited a ton of other interesting sounding books on the same and differing topics. I had meant to put them in my “To Be Read List” at the library, but it turns out that I put them on my “Give Me These Books Right Now List” and this is what’s waiting for me! Looks like I will hit at least one of my resolutions in full this year.
What’s on your “To Read List”?
How many books do you plan to read this year?
Do you read “self-help” type books? Parenting books?