Dying Daily #226: Mindfulness and Parenting

Kids are weird.

Maybe you have kids, maybe you don’t, but we all encounter them at some point, and they are weird.

They live in their own little worlds and have almost no understanding of how things work.

It is our job to help them understand how to live skillfully on this planet, but we can get caught up in so many other things that we drop the ball if we are not careful.

When it comes to kids, especially our own, the “shoulds” can creep in and make a mess if we are not mindful.

We have millions of shoulds, given to us by our own upbringings, cultures, religions, wants, needs, plans and everything else that creates our perception of the world.

Kids should be seen and not heard.

Kids should play sports and be dedicated to them.

Kids should make A’s and B’s.

Kids should never talk back.

Kids should do chores.

Kids should listen to adults instantly.

Kids should go to bed at a certain time.

Kids should play with certain toys.

Kids should always be respectful.

And so on.

Don’t get me wrong, quite a few of these are good things to instill in our children, and many will help them have easier lives. But they are all blanket statements, and they will all be challenged at some point.

It is important for any of us raising children to be aware of why we are doing what we are doing, and why different things are important to us. A mindful lifestyle can help us with this. It can help us be aware of our own shoulds so that we can know exactly why we believe what we believe.

Do you agree or disagree with the shoulds mentioned above for a reason, or was it instinctual?

Can you make a solid case for or against them?

If you cannot, can you let them go?