Simple guidelines for peaceful parenting

Zen HabitsI had to share this post from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits:

The Way of the Peaceful Parent

(If you've got a moment, have a read, then come back so we can talk.)

I'm thinking about this a lot because I'm deep in brainstorming mode for Minimalist Parenting, the book I'm writing with Christine Koh. (In case you missed it, here's the book announcement, and more insight into why I'm writing a book now.)

What I loved about Leo's post (what I always love about his writing) was its simple, direct reminder to just be there and do your best. Perfection isn't possible, nor is it the goal. Awareness is.

Brilliance in obviousness. The very definition of a parent hack.

I also love that he busts the stress-free parenting myth in Line 1. And that he talks about the work-in-progress nature of children and parents.

Does Leo's post speak to you? Or does it seem idealistic?

How do you find moments of peace amidst the whirlwind of parenting?

Leo and I swapped guest posts on each others' blogs way back in 2008. Here's Leo's, on Parent Hacks: Ten ways to find time for your family — no matter how busy you are

And here's mine, on Zen Habits: Top 20 Parent Hacks: Tips for Organization, Kid Optimization, and Happiness

Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less will be available in bookstores Spring 2013. Join us on our book journey! Follow Minimalist Parenting on the WebTwitter and Facebook.


  1. Stefani Loran says

    Spirituality plays a huge role – believing that I’m meant for more than what society/culture defines, and so are my children, on a daily basis spurs a lot of behaviors that otherwise would not exist.

    Having said that, nature also helps. We live near a lake and bountiful hiking trails, so when things get a little tense/stressful, it’s time for a hike! :) Extra bonus: they are tired when we get home so naps usually follow.

  2. Susan says

    I don’t know if “every” moment with my child is a “miracle,” but there’s some good stuff in the article, nonetheless. Finding an inner calm during moments of chaos has been key for me. I’m the girl who doesn’t go to yoga class because I can’t take the instructors seriously. But I’ve recently started using visualization to help during tantrums, and what do you know… it works.

  3. TrixiesMom says

    This is a great list, and each point is important, but each one also has a whole body of literature than can be (or has been) written about it. I have learned so much from Patty Wipfler’s website She has a very no nonsense approach to allowing children (and parents in their own time) to express themselves, release their emotions and get back to being the cooperative, connected people we all want to be.

  4. Mari says

    Grrr. In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that a few of my subscribed “newsletters” are coming in with the pictures and links stripped out. Not all of them, just a few. And Parent Hacks is one of them. *sigh* Am I the only one? :(

  5. says

    I really loved this article, but also think that most people don’t possess the patience to do all that! I know I don’t! However, I like the aspect of acceptance and trying to be better, because there definitely is no such thing as perfection, whether as adults or children, and we have to find a middle ground that we can appreciate and live with on a daily basis.

    Remembering that we are always role models to our children might also allow us to view ourselves and our reactions from an outside perspective. For example, instead of giving into the desire to yell and blow up, we take a moment to calm down and express ourselves with words, emotions, or even asking questions to communicate properly. Then the home environment for kids and parents becomes that much more bearable. Plus, a level of positivity for everyone can never hurt, granted we can find it, right? (Sometimes there is nothing positive about your kid throwing dishes at the wall and refusing to eat, but again, it’s always about trying to do what we can and make tomorrow a better day than the last).

  6. says

    You know, Tiffani — when I read lists like this I try to keep in mind that I don’t have to do everything ALL AT ONCE. It’s sort of like the list is the destination and I’m a few miles away, taking small steps but in the right direction.

  7. says

    You know, Tiffani — when I read lists like this I try to keep in mind that I don’t have to do everything ALL AT ONCE. It’s sort of like the list is the destination and I’m a few miles away, taking small steps but in the right direction.

  8. says

    I do use pacifier clips as key chain! So I can clip the keys to my trousers whe I carry around baby, bags etc. and do not have to fumble around with only one hand, when arrived at the door / car etc !

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