As I have recently scheduled time every day to give myself the gift of exercise, the idea of respect for my body is huge. So often we take our body for granted, or even hate it or are disgusted by it.
I don’t know about you, but the second my children were laid on my chest, I loved every single inch of their body and couldn’t even fathom them not doing the same.
So beyond keeping it clean, and beyond brushing our teeth or going to bed (obviously essential boundaries to hold as a parent), we can respect it also by moving it and strengthening it.
After just one month of yoga, I can feel amazing definition and strength in my legs and my whole body. I am able to contract my abdomen in ways I haven’t been able to since before appendix surgery in 2004!
And after the workout, I just feel good – relaxed and energized at the same time.
Since this is our soul’s vehicle, why do we treat it the way we often do? Why don’t we invest time in acquiring live foods, preparing healthy snacks? Why do we think buying a box of doughnuts serves us in ANY way?
It is my job to model the same values I would like my children to have, and that means that I MUST invest in respecting my body – through movement and the quality of the foods I offer it.
When you get clear on what boundaries serve your child’s highest self, holding them will not be a drama. You will be wrapped in trust as you have a deep knowing that the boundary is for THEM, not for YOU.
The only boundaries I hold with my children are these:
1. Respect for our own body – hygiene, exercise, sleep
2. Respect for our mind – the process of learning through formal and informal education as well as learning meditation when able*
3. Respect for our space – a tidy room and home
4. Respect for family and community – being of service, a state of love, treating others as we would like to be treated
If you really think about it, anything else is purely just for the parent.
The problem all of us have is holding these boundaries ourselves and being the models that our kids require us to be – as they will only learn what we do, not what we teach them!
*A note on respect for mind: I want my children to know it is essential to learn and obtain knowledge so they are well-equipped to evolve and grow and survive on their own. What they do with that knowledge, or any one person’s evaluation of how well they learned that knowledge, is NOT important to me. My focus is on two things: 1) Do they enjoy learning in this way? 2) Did they do their best? Success in life is not measured by a grade, award, or job. THEY will know when they feel success. I will not interfere.
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I love this! Definitely needed to read this! How do you help your children learn to respect the space? I struggle with my little one leaving her stuff around and her play room is horrendous and when she cleans she is SO proud and we are too but it's rare and usually we can't get her to do it.
There are two keys:
1) embody it – clean up your own space consistently in front of them. When you work on a project or cook a meal, clean up your space when you are done.
2) from a young age, build it into a routine – when it's time to move on to the next thing (maybe snack time or something else they enjoy), sing the same song while you all clean up. The repetition and practice builds the connections in their brain and having something to look forward to when they are done helps (just like it helps us as adults to have something to look forward to after our chores!). Make sure you are doing this throughout the day or at least once a day so that it's not too overwhelming of a task or they won't be interested. Cleaning up when it's time to move on from play is ideal!
Also, to make your life easier, rotate toys. Just get several clear bins and divide toys among them (randomly, no need to categorize). Then store them and only pull out one bin at a time and rotate weekly.
Notice the toys that are rarely engaged with and set them aside to donate/sell if you suspect they have outgrown them.
In our house, we only keep toys they are less likely to want to share in their rooms, which helps keep it a relaxing environment for sleep.
My children are young and they are spreaders – they pick up a toy and drop it wherever. It's a stage and it doesn't last forever. Try to pick it up every night after they go to bed. Again the key is to rotate toys so there is less available to spread.
I hope that helps!
Very helpful! Thanks!!