This week is Children's Week in Australia. Here are a few simple ways you can mark the occasion and reconnect with the joy of parenting.
Delight your child
You know that look. That look your child gives you when they know you just get what they are saying. You get them. It's like they are saying " wow I just LOVE YOU!" with their eyes. It feels amazing. And you know how it feels for them too.
You can give this feeling to your child today by listening mindfully -- just for a few moments. Drop everything, including what is pulling for your attention in your own mind, until they have finished and moved on. Show up with the desire to give your attention with nothing else to gain. Be present without any agenda or storyline. Tune in. Be curious about them, what they are saying to you. Notice how happy they are to move on with their day once you have met their need to be heard and seen by you.
Now, do the same for yourself.
Pause and tune in to what's going on for you. Be curious about what comes up. Can you give yourself the same gentle and kind attention you gave your child? Be on your own side for a moment in giving yourself this caring, but light touch, of full attention. If an old habitual storyline comes up don't criticise yourself. Acknowledge it then practice letting it move on... If a need comes up, can you show it kindness and understanding? If there is something practical that you can easily do to care for yourself in this moment then do so. Maybe nothing much comes up -- that's OK, too. But what a gift to just listen mindfully to yourself no matter WHAT comes up.
Taking care of yourself like this is the best gift you can give yourself and your child. Your well-being as a mother is the strongest predictor of the well-being of your child. Be there for both of you today.
We spend so much of our day in goal oriented activity -- even the suggestions above have the goal of listening mindfully to your child and yourself. Choosing to simply have fun with no other goal in mind is one of the joys children remind us of many times every day. So let's celebrate Children's Week by reconnecting with our own sense of play and fun. No other agenda!
"Children's Week is a national Australian program recognizing the talents, skills, achievements and rights of young people. It is based on the articles expressed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, highlighting play, wellbeing and protection.
This year, Children's Week will take place on Saturday 18 - Sunday 26 October and the theme for the week celebrates Article 12, focusing on every child's right to speak and be heard.
During Children's Week, local councils, organizations, schools and early childhood services organize a range of open days, displays and special events that celebrate childhood, showcase children's achievements."