What’s more stressful than trying to get the kids off to school in the morning? It has to be that moment when we walk in the door after school.
Does this happen to you?
Everyone is tired and grumpy. After sitting in the long, slow carpool lines and battling traffic on the drive home, I am irritated and impatient. My kids have a million stories about their day, competing with each other to get a word in, while getting louder and louder. When we get home I feel rushed to unpack the lunch bags and backpacks. There are homework planners to sign, papers to file away, dirty lunch containers to clean, and school flyers to read. And then the homework hoopla begins.
It feels so overwhelming everyday at this particular time. There has to be a better way to ease into the school-to-home transition. What can we do to make this time a bit calmer?
I am challenging each of you to try making a huge shift in your routine. Instead of succumbing to the chaos, take a couple minutes with your children to decompress as a family. Create an after school meditation moment.
Try these simple steps:
- Put the bags down and forget about them for now.
- Sit together on the sofa or in a circle on the floor.
- Ask everyone to close their eyes; you might want to hold hands.
- Take 5 slow breaths in and out together.
- Sit in silence for a minute, or a few minutes if your children can handle it. They will build up to a longer meditation time the more you practice.
- Ask each child to mention one special moment of their day.
- Take two more deep breaths to complete the meditation.
Welcome to your toolkit for raising happy, balanced children. I am excited to share tips, resources, and activities from the world of happiness science to help you teach your children how to live joyful, fulfilled, and peaceful lives.
It’s a tough world out there and our children need our guidance. Through my own battle with stress and anxiety, I have found ways to get back to a balanced state of mind, body, and spirit. This is a life-long project and there is always something new to learn.
There are many experts specializing in one area of happiness or stress reduction, but I am here to bring it all together in a simple, convenient way for parents. Each month I will highlight one of the areas in our toolkit, such as mindfulness, giving, optimism, loving kindness, or gratitude. Please join me on this journey as we make new discoveries together. I welcome your questions and comments along the way. Through knowledge and a constructive exchange of ideas, we can lead the next generation in making the world a better place.
I am a freelance writer, editor, and researcher specializing in wellness, environmental issues, parenting, and human behavior. I enjoy analyzing everyday life using science, humor, and a passion to improve the world. This blog is just one aspect of my work, as I am always exploring new projects. I would love the opportunity to work with your organization or publication. Please contact me at [email protected].
As a science communications specialist for over a decade, I focused on environmental, transportation, and health issues. This work includes freelance writing and research projects with a number of organizations and publications, and positions with the National Academies, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Cadmus Group, a consulting firm in which I worked on EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and projects addressing indoor air quality and asthma.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a Political Science minor at The George Washington University and a Master of Arts in Government with an Environmental Policy Focus at Johns Hopkins University. My latest endeavor is learning about living a happy, balanced life. In 2014, I completed The Science of Happiness course through the University of California, Berkeley and served as a Community Teaching Assistant.