by Jennifer Laurent
Each and every day brings something new in the world of parenting.
No matter how much we try to plan or predict the future, the unexpected is sure to happen. If we can allow ourselves the space to consider it, this truly is where the fun in parenting lies -- in the unpredictability, the unexpectedness and in the surprises.
So much of our lives with children revolve around routines and schedules -- work, meals, school and play dates are just a few examples. We know they are coming and we know what to expect. Through the concepts of "conscious parenting," we can look forward to the unexpected and find the joy in the unknown. We truly can experience another layer of fulfillment that parenting has to offer.
How do you embrace parenting surprises?
One way to find joy in the unexpected is through one of my favorite "conscious parenting" concepts, which teaches parents to set an intention for the type of parent they choose to be.
This can be done from as early as before a child is born all the way through their teenage years. In setting an intention, parents are guided to spend time thinking about what parenting means to them. They set out to discover their own goals and the way in which they want their family to look. I encourage parents to think about their belief systems, goals, ideas on discipline, apprehensions, strengths and weaknesses. This all helps inform what their parenting intention is. Once they come up with their intention, I encourage them to write it down and to live it each and every day.
This parenting intention allows us a guideline and foundation for facing those everyday challenges with excitement rather than apprehension.
What is your parenting intention?
My intention as a parent is to be present and authentically parent my child in a way that supports, protects and inspires him to fulfill his potential as a human being in this universe.
With this intention set, I am able to walk clearly and confidently into each new situation that being a parent calls for. I know that my intention is always there for me, giving me guidance and reason for any decisions I will be expected to make. With this foundation, I am able to allow for the unexpected to occur. I am able to fill my world with the beauty of the unknown and all the unpredictability that children bring.
I do not find myself worrying about possibilities, outcomes or consequences because I know my intention will guide me in whatever is necessary.
We can find ways like this one to minimize the stress and exasperation.
Does parenting always have to be so serious?
Another one of my favorite conscious parenting concepts is for us as parents to not take ourselves too seriously. I truly believe that we all want to have fun with our children and to show them the side of us that is playful and silly, rather than them only seeing us set rules and be “parents.” We can set daily intentions to have more fun, laugh louder and be sillier, giving us the freedom to let go and simply be in the moment with our kids. Not only will a new sense of joy and fulfillment exist for you as a parent, your children will thrive on witnessing your love of the unexpected.
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Jennifer Laurent is a clinical social worker, certified life coach and certified yoga instructor. You can follow more of Jennifer Laurent's "Conscious Parenting" concepts in her new book, Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom, available on www.LiveThroughTheHeart.com, as well as on Facebook.