January 7, 2010

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

I chose this book off of my library shelves . . . I was looking for something to help me as I move deeper into parenting three children, all under 5 until next month.

I found it deeply reassuring. The writing is very non-judgmental most of the time. The authors seem to truly believe and understand that every parent is different, every child is different, every family dynamic is different, and there is no one right way to do this thing - only tools they can share with parents seeking a mindful path.

I have a child (my oldest) who is very "high needs". He has been incredibly intense and demanding since birth. And challenging to me, as a parent. I have read a lot of parenting books over the years. Most of them have left me feeling, "well, that's nice, but it doesn't really apply and wouldn't really work with [my son], even if it's a good idea for most kids (even my other kids)." (Or, let's be honest, sometimes I'm thinking "what, are they crazy? Who would this work with?" LOL!) This book wasn't like that at all. I felt that most of the discussion was just as relevant to how I parent my oldest as it was to how I parent my other two, more 'typical' children.

Which brings me to my other thought about this book: I love that it is truly about how parents parent, not about how to parent to change your child in xyz way. I don't believe it's our job as parents to change our children. Sometimes our job is to help our children change themselves. Our job is always to change ourselves as parents to best adapt to the situations we find ourselves in.

I'm going to post quotes from the book as Status Updates on the Larger Circle Facebook Page. If you aren't a Fan yet, become one!