I have just ordered a book about conscious parenting, as I always like to keep learning and growing and seeking out new information to help me do so.
It got me thinking as to the way I've been parenting lately and the effects it's been having on my children.
You see I've been a little distracted lately. With the launch of my new The Be the Change Program and also signing a distribution contract to get The Happy Mum Handbook into all major Australian bookstores, it's meant that there is a very large workload on my shoulders to juggle with the many family demands I have as well.
With all this has come limited sleep and a lot of stress. Needless to say that my parenting has been a far cry from what I'd like it to be.
This happens every once in a while, I think, to every parent, but then you get triggered back into being conscious and aware of what you are doing and the consequences of that.
This has been highlighted by the incessant whingeing, complaining and general unappreciation for anything that has come from my six year old (and increasingly from my five year old too).
What I realised is that in the mix of all the tasks I had to do, I was not giving enough attention to how my children were perceiving life and what they were learning, and now that I've been snapped back into awareness about this, just from ordering this book about conscious parenting, I have realised just how much I've been relying on DS games, Wii games and Foxtel to help me raise my children, and it's not good enough!
So it's time to teach my children a few lessons about appreciation (and probably myself too) and with the school holidays coming up at the end of this week, I've decided that we are going to have a 'live like an ethiopian child' day. I am going to add a few things into this day to teach my kids that what they have are privileges that they need to appreciate.
I have received some good ideas from my facebook page on how to do this, but one that stood out to me was having my kids go without food for as long as possible (hours, not days of course) so that they can feel what it feels like be hungry and contemplate what it would be like if they couldn't just go to the cupboard/fridge and grab what they want to eat.
I am, of course going to take it further and ban the TV, Wii Games, DS Games and all inside toys. We will have our 'lunch' which will be very basic, out on the back deck where it is likely to be cold and place mats on the wooden back deck. I am also going to show them a video of how less fortunate kids in ethiopia live, so that we can have a discussion about it.
Although my attempt at simulating the life of an ethiopian child will not even come close to the conditions that these poor children have to live in, I am hoping that this small example will be enough to help my children appreciate their lives a little more and become more aware of how good they have it.
I anticipate a lot of arguing, complaining and backchat on the day, but I'm going to just have to deal with it and you know what, just from screening youtube video after youtube video to see which one is appropriate to show the kids, I am remembering this appreciation and gratitude for myself.
It will be an interesting day and I look forward to seeing my children grow from the experience.