The past few weeks have been fascinating, working from home with the kids out of school and juggling a business and being a dad, and I’m not alone here.
More than half-a-billion kids (including yours) are probably out of school too.
Parenting is one of the most important jobs in our lives. It’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. For at least 18 years, you’re responsible for another human life.
It’s necessary that each and every one of us takes even greater responsibility for our children’s education.
Technology overload and the anxieties linked to social media didn’t exist in the past, and we certainly haven’t faced the global issues we’ve been recently immersed in. So as parents during a critical time in our lives, how on earth do we navigate this? How do we keep it together on a personal level, and at the same time, do a good job of raising our children?
Here are 5 powerful thoughts that will help you on your parenting journey.
1- The Mindset of A Parent and The 3 Big Lies
I genuinely believe that in order to raise the consciousness of the human race, we need to address the way we approach parenting and how we raise our children. As Frederick Douglass once said: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
So I’m passionate about helping parents raise conscious children and now is a great time to take a look at your own parenting methodology. In fact, our role as parents is not to mold our children. Instead, our role is to ensure our kids blossom into their truest and most authentic selves. These are the 3 big lies we are told that can help you build the right mindset as a parent:
- In order to be a good parent, we have to discipline our children
- We need to make our children happy and give them everything we never got in life
- We need to impose or traditions, our cultures and our religious beliefs on our children
2- Staying Positive Amidst Anxiety
Right now, it’s challenging for parents to not only work from home and handle the everyday stresses of life and work, but to also have your kids at home with you, eating up every ounce of your time. They may interrupt your meetings (I know this has happened to me several times), and you are ultimately responsible for keeping them entertained and educated in a healthy environment.
On top of this, we have to worry about the current state of our world and manage to keep sane thoughts of what the future holds. But life will always be filled with uncertainties and the Coronavirus is just sharpening the lense on these moments. It’s like my friend Dr. Shefali says, “let’s use this virus as an opportunity to enter into a higher state of consciousness, where we let go of our anxieties about the future and understand that the only way to live life is in the present moment.” Anxiety can cause mental fatigue, and may push you to react in a scolding manner. Fire begets fire, making your household even more filled with anxiety and anger.
The anxieties won’t just affect you. They’ll affect your relationships and how you communicate with your kids. Positive instructions work better than negative and will likely get your children to listen more. Additionally, giving them the power to make certain decisions on their own builds character and helps them understand simple concepts in accountability and responsibility.
Learn to praise effort and not just end results, mistakes are a learning experience for both of you.
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The video above can teach you how to introduce positive affirmations to your kids. There’s a lot of science to back up how a set of positive words can dramatically improve your mind and body.
When we raise our children, It’s not about instilling fears and ‘constructive’ criticism to ensure their survival. Our job is to support and guide them, and the best way to do that is by getting in the habit of spreading positive thinking and clear communication, filled with praise and love.
You can learn more on the benefits and how to start using them by reading this article on positive affirmations.
3- Better Eating Habits and A Powerful Immune System
Beyond just washing your hands and quarantining, there is a lot more that can be done to guarantee the good health and safety of your kids. It starts with the right kind of nutrition—planting the seeds to ensure they understand why certain foods are better than others; and ultimately, helping their immune systems stay strong at all times, which will come in handy even after the storm passes.
Check out this video from my friend and one of our incredible authors, Eric Edmeades. You’ll learn:
- How to create a foundation for healthy habits
- How to support and boost your immune system
- Good sources of nutrition, like plants and proteins
- Importance of hydration, rest, sunlight, fresh air and love
4- Healthy Tech habits and Other Sources of Entertainment
Humans were not built to be stuck in confined spaces all day with little contact to the outside world; but alas, we have technology! Most of us have managed to tame the beast that is screen time. We have enough warning signs and alarms going off in our bodies and minds (and apps on our phone alerting us) when we spend too much time glued to a screen. But we are adults and we control our own behaviors. Children are entirely different. They’ll sit glued to their devices and TV screens all day and night if we don’t create structure; so it’s important we set boundaries around online and offline activities.
Part of our job as parents is to run our households with balance and efficiency–so try to be flexible when it comes to screen time. Especially now, the burden of reducing screen time is lighter. Don’t be so hard on yourself!
It can also be a very positive experience if you suggest the type of content to watch together, whether it’s a nature documentary or an animated history tour. Watching content together can boost empathy, bring humor to the relationship and overall strengthen bonds.
Another option is to periodically schedule FaceTime video chats or Zoom calls with family and friends, giving everyone a chance to connect and interact, and experience a sense of togetherness.
And, if you’re looking for some fun off-screen activities, check out these suggestions in Time. I especially like the ideas on how you can improve reading habits together, being resourceful while doing arts and crafts, and getting into baking, which seems only natural seeing as we’re spending more time cooking at home.
I recently hosted a live virtual dance party with my friend Alyson Stoner (incredibly talented multi-hyphenate artist) to lead a morning dance on Zoom to our Mindvalley community. The response to this movement therapy was amazing–we had 1,300 people dancing together for an hour!
5- How to create a daily routine at home
Routines are very important, especially now. Your normal habits and routines may have fallen apart, so it’s time to rebuild them.
Routines aren’t just for your kids–they’re also for you. A routine can really help you stay on top of your responsibilities, in the very same way that routines can help your kids thrive, and level up their ability to juggle tasks, or switch from one area of focus to another smoothly. Balance is important.
Don’t feel compelled to reinvent the wheel. You can easily use the traditional school routine as inspiration. Block time slots for breakfast and lunch, recess, and time for doing homework. Breaking down the day into small chunks of time will make it easier to address your kids’ needs.
Playtime of course is very important. If you’ve properly segmented work and play, let them take the lead with their playtime. This can boost their creativity and play a role in overall development.
Little Humans is our new parenting division and we have released one of our new parenting services completely free. For those of you with kids out of school and juggling work and parenting duties, you will love this. It’s a four week program that provides training from the world’s best teachers.
Join the live Zoom calls and get trained on many of the topics I highlighted above, including:
- Keeping your children healthy
- Supporting anxious children: (and parents)
- Breaking unhealthy food habits: How to take care your kid’s bodies & immune systems
- How to foster healthy tech habits and balance screen time
- How to Homeschool your children and ensure their educational needs are met
- How to create a daily routine at home that will give your days a new sense of stability
If you have any ideas you’d like to see from me or Mindvalley during this extended time at home, reach out. Let me know where you are in the world and what your biggest challenge is during this crisis.
And as always, follow me @vishen on Instagram.
(This article was first published on Thrive Global.)