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The best gift you can give your child this Christmas

Actualizado: 29 de abr de 2020

If you thought you were going to find here a list of ingenious presents for little yogis when you saw the title of this article, I am very sorry to have to disappoint you. No, I have no idea what wonderful ideas are out there this year that will fascinate our little ones, but what I want to tell you today may be more meaningful than a list of trendy toys.

In fact, the best gift you can give your child this Christmas (or any other day of the year, because who needs an excuse to make a present?) isn’t anything for them, but something for you. The best present for your child is for you to take care of yourself, that you take time for you, that you are a priority in your life. Although it may sound extravagant or selfish, let me explain you why I am making this categorical statement. The truth is that nothing will make a child happier than growing up in a relaxed and emotionally healthy environment, living with parents that are understanding, patient and loving, who don’t lose it easily with the challenges of our fast-paced day-to-day life. Nothing will make them happier that feeling that their parents enjoy their company with no rush, that they don’t need to compare what they already have with what others have, that they are loved as they are, just like their parents do.

Stop a moment to think about it: when you feel relaxed and in the present, it is so much easier to not react mindlessly, but act consciously, with more compassion and understanding. It takes so little effort to take a deep breath before responding in a nasty way when something is bothering us. Our patience suddenly seems to have turned into an endless source and we don’t mind spending thirty minutes going up the stairs while carrying the shopping (to give you a glorious example).

I would love for you to try it. I see it immediately when a few days pass without me being able to give myself what I need. Every time my husband goes on a business trip and I am on my own for a few days, in charge of everything all day long, I notice how my resources diminish. I find it hard to stay patient and kind when things get hard, and it isn’t hard to understand. I am simply exhausted and I need to recharge my batteries.

What you decide to do to recharge your batteries is completely personal and it can look very different to what other people do. For me it is to sit for meditation, go to yoga class, have a bath, listen to a yoga nidra, or also possible, have the time to write here what is moving in my heart. But it could also be something like having a walk, getting a manicure, meeting up friends for a drink, taking a nap… The end is the same: happy parents, happy children. Remember, you can’t give if your glass is empty and there are some spaces that nothing material can fill up.

So, a tablet? An ultralight remote control car? A five storey doll house? How much are you willing to pay to buy these things (besides the money)? I don’t like the idea that ‘one has to do everything for their children.’ As if one had to sacrifice one’s own life to get to a destination that might even be out of our reach. What if instead of buying expensive gifts, we used that money to give ourselves time? A babysitter to take care of the kids while I take care of myself, a massage I tell myself I can’t afford because I have to buy those other shoes for my boy, spend the day playing in the park instead of spending the day in front of my screen browsing the umpteenth website so I can find the best offer for those skaters… As I say, everything has its price. What are you ready to give away in this lifetime?

[back to yogi mama or home]

#mindfulparenting #english

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