The one with too much “om” for my life

There’s this book I got through Netgalley months ago and that still sits half-read on the metaphorical virtual bookshelf in my Kindle. Theoretically, I’m all for it: it’s called “Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family”, by Carla Naumburg. But actually, find me any parent who would be against fewer meltdowns and more peace in the family and who’d raise the hand for more tantrums!

What appealed to me was the practical view. Yes, it’s a Buddhist approach, and there are a lot of concepts that I’ve seen somewhere else, but I was looking for practical tips and down-to-earth, no-nonsense strategies. And the book didn’t disappoint.

Yet I can’t bring myself to finish it. I’m not a mindful person enough to begin with. I can do that, you know, breathing thing, but it doesn’t come to me naturally. I have meditated perhaps three times and I almost fell asleep. I have never, ever done yoga. I probably should work on this first, but then there’s another layer that disturbs me.

I don’t recognize myself in the education principles that Carla Naumburg takes for granted in her book. What disturbs me is that she doesn’t really talk about posing limits to the kids and teaching them to do stuff they don’t really like but need to know, or behave in a socially acceptable way. I know other families have chosen a different path and that’s all right, but this book is really on a different wavelength than me and that made it difficult for me to appreciate. This is probably my French education speaking here (and probably a prejudice I have about American education), but I’m not really into allowing my young kids that much free reins (I’ll probably run back here in a few years months (?) with big apologies and a whole different view, once we’ll have teenagers at home!). I wish they can get in touch with their emotions and have empathy, yes, but I find myself resistant to the complete program.

I’m still grateful for the publisher and Netgalley for offering me a review copy of that book, which will probably find many other, more mindful readers.

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One thought on “The one with too much “om” for my life

  1. I have two yoga DVDs that I do occasionally, and attempt meditation from time to time. I should do it more frequently, it really helps, but I’m not good at making time for it. I am with you, however, on the setting limits and making your kids do things they don’t really want to do sometimes. I wish my parents had been a bit tougher with me and made me stick with piano a little longer, or dance. Perhaps I would have developed a stronger sense of “grit,” a word I am reading more and more about these days in relation to successful kids. I’m trying to set limits with my son (aged 4) but also of course want him to explore things on his own; it is a delicate dance. More than anything I don’t want him to be afraid to try things, afraid to fail, like I was as a child. I probably wouldn’t have finished this book either! Ha ha.

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