I often train others on the practice of mindfulness which is the essence of being present in every moment. However, today I was the student and my 3-year-old daughter was the teacher as she reminded me to practice what I preach.
My goal this evening was simple, get the kids bathed and in bed for the night. However, I didn’t realize I was parenting on autopilot and not paying attention to the moment.
I felt my frustration starting to rise as my routine plan of: bath + bed was being interrupted. The reality is I completely overlooked the fact that she was in the middle of playing with a ball. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to abruptly end what I’m doing/enjoying for non-urgent requests either. If I would have taken a mindful moment I would have noticed what she was in the midst of in order to change my approach and honor the transition time every toddler needs.
What is the solution? I asked her how long she would like me to set her timer to finish playing with the ball, and she said “five minutes” (She honestly doesn’t fully understand the concept of time yet but it’s so cute when she gives a rational time request.). The timer went off she automatically started undressing for her bath. We both won and we both learned valuable lessons in mindfulness.