So often, parents want to commit to gentle discipline and compassionate parenting, but they don’t quite know how. A moment of frustration can sometimes ruin a day and bleed into the next one, leaving us feeling like we don’t know how to get back on track.
One tactic that helps me is saving and reading gentle discipline articles and books. This helps me stay focused on my goals as a parent. When I make a regular practice of reading such material, I am able to remember how I want to treat my children, instead of getting overwhelmed by the day-to-day business of parenthood.
But we don’t always have time to read books and articles, sometimes we need a quick dose of inspiration to help us refocus on the things we will remember long after the moment is gone — how we treated our children, how we responded when they needed us, how we handled the various pitfalls and successes during early childhood.
That’s why a peaceful parenting mantra can be such a powerful tool for staying the course. It’s a quick and easy way to get back on track. You can type these mantras up and print them off, or write them down on sticky notes to post around your house. Try hanging one on your mirror and repeating it to yourself in the morning. Starting your day off with the right intentions can make all the difference!
Here are some simple phrases to keep in mind throughout the day:
I am a respectful and compassionate parent.
I am warm, loving, and calm.
I will breathe before I speak.
I will respond, instead of react.
My child is innocent.
My child is still learning and growing.
My child is not giving me a hard time, they are having a hard time.
Here are some of my favorite gentle parenting mantras:
The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. – Peggy O’Mara
We can’t control the waves, but we can learn to surf. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Yelling silences your message. Speak quietly so children can hear your words instead of just your voice. -L.R. Knost
What is best for the child is not always what is most convenient for the parent. – Bonnie Bedford
…What remains? I want it to be the words I’ve whispered into their being a million times: You are my delight. – Lisa A. McCrohan
You can’t teach children to behave better by making them feel worse. When children feel better, they behave better. – Pam Leo
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. – The Dalai Lama
It is the nature of the child to be dependent, and it is the nature of dependence to be outgrown. Begrudging dependency because it is not independence is like begrudging winter because it is not yet spring. Dependency blossoms into independence in its own time. – Peggy O’Mara
And finally, the simplest but sometimes most difficult: Be here now.
What are your favorite mantras for parenting?