Peacefulness is sometimes an elusive goal. As a busy parent it can be difficult to find quiet moments to share your value of peace.
Try these ideas for bringing peacefulness into your home.
Care for Animals
Caring for animals is an emotionally relaxing and rewarding activity. When you show your child how to interact gently with an animal, you share the value of existing peacefully with all creatures.
If it suits your family lifestyle, bring a pet into your home. You can envelop the pet into your circle of family, sharing the responsibilities and joys of caring for another being.
You can also try supporting the presence of wildlife in your yard. Try a bird feeder, butterfly garden, or small pond for frogs. This opens the door to learning about local animals and discussing ways to support the life around you.
Volunteering together at an animal shelter can be an emotional and satisfying way to learn about the needs of animals. You will be providing much needed assistance for animals in need.
Additional Reading: Nonviolent Communication is a wonderful book for helping you build peace in your family and your world through life-affirming communication. (affiliate link)
With the whir of the modern world it’s easy to go entire days without experiencing silence. Moments of silence add to our sense of inner peace and give us the opportunity to take a mental break.
For just a moment, leave all questions, expectations, and responsibilities behind.
Look for times when you tend to automatically fill in conversation. Dinner time, car rides, and working side by side on chores are possible examples. In these moments, don’t pressure yourself to fill the silence. Take some time to be in the moment. These moments are a great time for some physical connection, as well.
If your child wants to, you can introduce intentional moments of silence where the two of you sit or lie together without sound. Lying in the grass watching clouds is a great time for sharing silence. Or try sitting in a comfortable spot with your backs together and relaxing into one another for a few moments.
Focusing on your breathing is a key way to bring peacefulness into your body. Take regular quiet moments to yourself to focus on your breath. This will give you more patience and presence with your child at other times during the day.
Mention to your child that taking a few calm breaths helps you deal with uncomfortable emotions and situations. When you notice your child having a stressful time, suggest that they take a few deep breaths. If your child will resent this kind of suggestion, you can help by sitting nearby and breathing evenly yourself. This adds a calm, centered presence to the difficult situation.
You can make a fun activity out of breathing together from time to time. Try breathing in sync with one another or breathing in an opposite pattern. One of you could count while the other takes breaths. Inhale for 4 beats; exhale for 4 beats. Talk about how you feel in your bodies when you focus on your breath.
Additional Reading: How to End Power Struggles With Kids
You want to add peace to the world by teaching your child about caring for others. You also want to bring peacefulness into your home.
To add clarity and mindfulness to your home, try this idea: whenever you get something new, give something comparable away.
Start by spending a day clearing out the clutter in your home. Find toys, books, knick-knacks, spare furniture, overflowing kitchen gear, and clothes that don’t suit you any more. Get your child involved in deciding what things of their they might like to clear out.
Now begin a habit of setting aside something to donate whenever you get something new. If your child gets a new toy, talk about which toy they can let go of. When you buy new clothes, find an outfit that you can part with.
Set these things aside so that you can donate them. Find a charity that aligns with your values, and share those values with your child.
Talk with your child about ways we can care for others, including offering some of our belongings to help other people. You can also find out if your chosen charity accepts volunteer work that is appropriate for your child.
Donating from your own bounty and volunteer work are wonderful ways to bring greater connectedness to the world.
Tiny Bits of Nature
Being outside in nature is the perfect way to bring a sense of peacefulness to your life. Find ways to spend time outside with your child as often as possible.
One way to enjoy the wonder of nature is to focus on the tiny details. Get down on the ground with your child and examine a single blade of grass. Watch an ant as it travels. Lie down and use your fingers to explore a small patch of dirt. Find a stick and sit together looking at its different textures and picking away at the bark.
Try adding the habits of sharing silence and breath to this activity. You will find an immense sense of peacefulness that will carry through with you to all parts of your life.
What other ways do you share peacefulness in your home, with your child, and for yourself? I’d love to hear your ideas, big or small!