Here’s a tip o’ the hat to a new blog resource here on the Dude; Zen Habits.
This dude Leo Babauta has built a blog empire in a short few years. 240,000 subscribed followers! Dang!
He’s done an amazing job of leveraging the power of a blog to build himself a nice writing career. Yes, blogging is now a career path…if you can do it right. And Leo has.
If you haven’t checked out ZenHabits.net, it’s worth a visit. I snag some good info from there from time to time. More originals than curration, and as the name indicates the topics tend to be focused on life skills built on simplicity – a Zen-like mentality.
The blog is groovy, but what I find most amazing about Leo is that he has six kids. Yes, 6 kids! That’s a full-time job in itself.
So when I saw his recent post “The Way of the Peaceful Parent,” I was immediately intrigued. I like to think the Dude’s parenting philosophies fit nicely into the peaceful parenting mold, but I needed to see what a dude with 6 kids had to say about it.
And I was not disappointed. Leo made some great points. So I figured I’d cherry-pick some of the steps on the Peaceful Parent path that fit nicely into the Dude’s world. Here’s a good start to a loose definition of the Dude’s Way of the Peaceful Parent – courtesy of Zen Habits…with some added commentary from the Dude. 🙂
- Greet your child each morning with a smile, a hug, and a loving Good Morning!
- Dude: Not always easy if you don’t consider yourself a “morning person” – whatever that means – but this is a MUST. We all deserve to get our day off on the right foot.
- Read to them often. It’s a wonderful way to bond, to educate, to explore imaginary worlds.
- Dude: It’s easy to find reasons not to. We’re all busy. But the end result is awesome. Quiet hugs while we build imagination and precious reading habits. Well worth the effort.
- Build forts with them. Play hide and seek. Shoot each other with Nerf dart guns. Have tea together. Squeeze lemons and make lemonade. Play, often, as play is the essence of childhood.
- Dude: I’d take this a step further. Play is the essence of life, not just childhood. We all need to play. Free the kiddos, and ourselves, for as much play as possible.
- When your child asks for your attention, grant it.
- Dude: Definitely. Kids need our attention. Parent’s attention will build confidence and develop a strong loving bond. Lavish the kids with attention. At some point, they will stop looking for attention, and hearts will break.
- Model the behavior you want your child to learn. Be calm, smile, be kind, go outdoors and be active.
- Dude: Heck yeah. The kids will become what they see everyday. And parents are what they see. Be the person you want your kids to be. Easier said than done, but a must. “Be calm, smile, be kind, go outdoors and be active.” Perfect.
- Remember that your child is a gift. She won’t be a child for long, and so your time with her is fleeting. Every moment you can spend with her is a miracle, and you should savor it. Enjoy it to the fullest, and be grateful for that moment.
- Let your child share your interests. Bake cookies together. Sew together. Exercise together. Read together. Work on a website together. Write a blog together.
- Dude: Little helpers are awesome, and we’re building skills along the way.
- Patiently teach your child the boundaries of behavior. There should be boundaries — what’s acceptable and what’s not. [H]ave patience, but set the boundaries. Within those boundaries, allow lots of freedom.
- Dude: Modeling behavior is a great way to instill boundaries naturally, but inevitably, there are times when we will need to say “no.” Set boundaries and keep moving.
- Sing and dance together.
- Dude: Life is short. Have fun. And make sure the kids are having fun.
- Take every opportunity to teach kindness and love. It’s the best lesson.
- Kiss your child goodnight. And give thanks for another amazing day with your beautiful, unique, crazy child.
- Dude: Amen. Start the day with a kiss and an “I love you,” and end it the same way. The world may seem crazy, but we are amazingly lucky to be where we are and have the gifts that we have. Have gratitude.