Mindful Parenting and Five Words that Changed Everything

Rachel Macy Stafford
New York Times Bestselling Author and Certified Special Education Teacher

Every couple of weeks I patiently untangle the knots of strawberry-blonde hair that sit at the base of my child’s neck. As I sat on the corner of the tub the other night, gently loosening an especially stubborn clump while my daughter chattered about her day, I couldn’t stop the tears.

Those wet tangles I held in my hand were tangible signs of progress — tangible proof that letting go can happen even in the most problematic hearts. My wish is that if I share where I once was and where I am now, others will feel hope they haven’t felt in a while. Perhaps through reading about my messy tangles of progress, others will see their own. This is my story.

There was a time in my life when I barked orders more often than I spoke words of love… when I reacted to small everyday inconveniences as if they were major catastrophes… when normal human habits and quirks raised my blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Rather than nurturing my family members, I took it upon myself to manage my family members until there was no room to bend or breathe.

My artistic, busybody, dream-chasing older daughter’s desire to start projects, try new recipes, and leave trails wherever she went received disapproving looks on a daily basis.

My stop-and-smell-the-roses younger daughter’s desire to buckle in stuffed animals before we drove off, accessorize every part of her body before walking out the door, and move at a snail’s pace drew exasperated breaths and annoyed frowns.

My fun-loving, laid-back husband’s spontaneous approach to weekend plans and ability to totally chill out got the silent treatment more times that I could count.

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Mindful parenting