How to Be a Mindful Parent

Does this ever happen to you?

You’re at home with the kids, and you find yourself holding three different conversations, one for each child. It might go something like this:

To child one: “Ooh, yeah, that’s Ironman. He’s red…” Turn to face child two next: “Hmm, I don’t think I’ve seen a circle or square kite, but yeah I’m pretty sure they exist…” Then address child three, who all this time is reading a book on your lap: “Okay, where were we? Ah yes, A told B and B told C…”

I kid you not, this is a typical scenario at my home, with three different little ones clamoring for attention and me spewing off words left and right with hardly a moment’s pause.

I feel like a ping pong ball holding back and forth conversations. Add to this the days when I’m doing stuff around the house like cooking or putting things away while holding said multiple conversations. Yeah, it gets hectic.

10% HappierSo when I read Dan Harris’ book, 10% Happier about being in the moment, moving slowly and quieting the mind, I thought: “Easy for you to say—you don’t have kids!”

Still, I was drawn to the idea of the anti-multitasking. I’ve long heard (and learned firsthand) the pitfalls of doing more than one thing at a time: You lose focus, you waste time remembering where you left off, and you’re bound to make mistakes or overlook something. Read more →

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I asked, you answered. First, thanks so much for filling out my survey. I was curious to see what you liked and didn’t like about the blog. And now I have some insight into what you all think:

1-favorite-topics

Parenting-related topics beat the rest, with discipline and behavior at second and communicating with our kids at third. In general, you guys like to talk about parenting, which makes sense since that’s the main theme of this blog.

Two of the lowest ones—twins and work—can understandably not fare as high as the others considering these are circumstantial themes that not everyone can relate to. I’m also not surprised to see book roundups on the lower end since I publish these on Saturdays, one of my lowest-traffic days. Money topics also didn’t interest you, which is a shame because personal finance is one of my “hobbies.”

Overall, I’m glad that most of the posts I publish align with what people look forward to most about this blog.

I seem to have gotten right the number of times I publish posts… Read more →

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I was proud, but shocked: My five-year-old’s pre-K teacher revealed that my son was performing at a third and fourth grade level. I sort of knew he was advanced since I’d have to find worksheets and printables above his preschool level, but I didn’t know he was nearly five grades ahead.

How to Raise Smart Kids

Granted, I do believe our genes make up a huge portion of who we are, but that doesn’t mean parents are completely off the hook when it comes to raising kids. We can still play a big part in helping kids thrive and use their talents and skills.

So, what are some tips on how to raise smart kids? While I never set out to Google this question, I realized many of the tips I’ve heard and heeded about learning and education seem to encourage my son’s success in school.

The best part? It doesn’t require tons of money, the latest apps, enrichment activities or extracurricular activities. What seemed to work stemmed from a loving, supportive environment with a whole lot of belief in children’s abilities.

Take a look at the following tips on how to raise a smart child:

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Eight o’clock was my saving grace. After several hours with my five-year-old and two-year-old twins, I’d be ready to call it a day and claim survival to yet another bad parenting day. Eight o’clock is bedtime, and during those witching hours between dinner and then, I’d glance at the clock, oh… 67 times to see if I was any closer to the end.

On Choosing to Turn a Bad Parenting Day into a Good One

It had been a rough few days. Kids were sick, extra clingy, and crying over every little thing. Dinners were equally rough. Normally easy eaters, my twins had been rejecting meals I assumed they’d eat or at least try.

When I don’t catch myself, I get mad. I’m rude to my kids instead of patient. I get annoyed when they’re clumsy instead of comforting their cries or hugging them in reassurance.

And I assume it’ll be like this all the way until 8pm without even trying to turn it around.

“Why bother?” I asked. Had it been a “good day,” one where the kids ate their food and played calmly with one another, a cry or a tantrum would be manageable. I wouldn’t react so quickly.

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The following is written by Tove Maren:

I am the mother of four boys ages eight and younger. One of our little ones is medically complex and was diagnosed a few days after his text-book-delivery via scheduled c-section. He spent the first two months fighting for his life in the PICU, in a medically induced coma and hooked up to 15 pumps running medication into his little body.

Raising a Child with Medical Conditions

Slowly (ever so slowly) he got better, stronger, and is now older and currently “within normal ranges” for his condition. To say that we have come far is a great understatement. Together with our little blonde-haired, blue-eyed wonder, we have scaled mountains and crossed oceans—and we would do it all again if it means getting him to where he is today.

Unfortunately, we were not prepared to raising a child with health problems. There was no advance warning, no notification, simply a curve ball that came and hit us upside the head when we were told to take him to the emergency room at five days old.

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