I will never forget the day my girlfriend came over to visit my two-year-old son, Oliver. I was telling her how wonderful, easy going, and precious he had been lately as we proceeded outside to the car. I was just about to lift him seamlessly into his carseat and watch him snuggle in like a baby bird under its mother’s wing, when my world came crumbling down…
That was the day that Oliver focused his coral reef eyes on mine and said, “NO!”
The next year held many more NO’s! and it culminated when my three-year-old son hit me when he became angry.
In desperation, I started pouring through parenting books. I called girlfriends and asked them if their sweet kids ever hit them (it turns out they had). I tried things like counting to three in order to get him to magically obey me. I made firm resolutions that I would nip his hitting in the bud, only to find myself confused and frustrated.
Our power struggles escalated and, with his baby sister turning one and my depleted hormones, I reached the point where screaming became one of my parenting tools. I remember several times where I got down at his eye level and yelled at him to not hit me. As I marched him up to his room, my heart crumbled like stale bread. I had a feeling there had to be a better way.
A friend at the time recommend a Positive Discipline coach. Hiring her was the best parenting move I ever made. She began empowering me with tools that would set the stage for my Mindful Ninja Mom Tool Kit! I learned to do things like disengage from the power struggle, understand my son’s mistaken beliefs around having a new baby sister, and offer limited choices.
The more I learned, the more I felt like a Ninja Mom. I no longer felt powerless! I no longer feared the tantrums, and I stopped engaging in power struggles (now, that really is a Mindful Ninja Mom move!).
Simultaneously, this was the same time period when I began pursing a career as a children’s picture book writer. I had been a first grade teacher for many years and was always captivated by picture books. I began writing my own books with themes of Mindfulness and was invited to join the Social and Emotional Learning/Mindfulness Committee at my children’s school (which I now co-chair). I took courses on how to teach Mindfulness to children and started brining Mindfulness tools into our home.
In hindsight, I can see how all these events were superbly aligned, the way the Big Dipper perfectly points to the North Star. I was being led to what would become my calling. The more I learned about Positive Discipline and Mindfulness, the greater my passion grew. I became that mom at a party who talks about her children, but instead of bragging about all the trophies her kids have won, I gabbed nonstop about amazing parenting strategies I had learned or created.
Then, my husband was away for awhile, and I was solo with our three-year-old and five-year-old. Would my Mindful Ninja Mom Tool Kit! stand up to the challenge? Would I survive being out-numbered in my home? Not only did the tool kit work, but I spent most days dancing in the kitchen to the songs of Raffi and going on camping trips to discover hidden forts in the woods. It was AMAZING!
Sometimes I have tough days with my children. There are many times when mommy-guilt covers me like a raggedy quilt. There are still moments when I am exasperated with my children. But I know what to do now, I amend my behavior when I need to, and I have really close and fruitful relationships with both my children.
Lets be honest. Parenting can be really tough sometimes. If you feel like you would rather move into a cave that may be inhabited by bears than return home to your children, you are not alone. If you feel like your kids are spoiled brats who would do well being sent off to Wisconsin in the middle of winter, you are not alone. If you aren’t sure what to do anymore, and you want to trade in your children but have lost the receipt from the time of purchase, you are not alone. There is a better way, and I am here to empower you with your own Mindful Ninja Mom Tool Kit! Learn more at www.mindfulninjamom.com and contact me for a free 20-minute parent coaching consultation.