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FAMILY

the everyday stresses of parenting In the Flow

Leo Babauta shares how to flow with

PARENTING CAN BE STRESSFUL. That’s probably one of my bigger understatements, but as the father of six kids, I’ve learned a little about handling these stresses so that it’s not such a big deal anymore. Kids throw tantrums, demand to have their way, don’t see anything but their own point of view, break things, always need something, get hurt, fight with each other, start to rebel and become disrespectful as teenagers, and so on. But there are good bits too. The truth is, dealing with the stresses of kids is the same as dealing with the stresses of anyone else. The stress is just magnified because 1) we are responsible for their lives, education, values and everything else, and 2) we are more emotionally involved with them than we are with most other people. Still, the basics of dealing with the stresses of others apply, and what we’ll talk about here can apply to anyone, not just someone with kids. OK, let’s tackle this problem … we’re going to look at two areas: 1) how to deal with the stresses of others, and 2) how to make managing kids easier.

Stresses of Others In her book Everyday Zen, Charlotte Joko Beck tells a story that I’ll paraphrase here: Imagine you’re rowing a boat on a foggy lake, and out of the fog comes another boat that crashes into you! At first you’re angry at the fool who crashed into you — what was he thinking! You just painted the boat. But then you notice the boat is empty, and the anger leaves … you’ll have to repaint the boat, that’s all, and you just row around the empty boat. But if there were a person steering the boat, we’d be angry! >

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 www.thegreenparent.co.uk

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