Everyday Blessings by Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn

Disciplining children means equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in life. In Everyday Blessings, global-thought leader Jon Kabat-Zinn and his wife Myla, explain how to do just that using examples from their own lives. This book is extremely delightful to read and hard to put down. Strikingly different from most of the conventional parenting books, it is one of the few available that embrace parenting in its entirety. All of the emotional, instinctive, and personal aspects that parents go through are expertly applied in a proven mind/body connection. Everything you need to know about raising a happy, well-adjusted, well-behaved child is written in a refreshing and new perspective. Readers will find that this go-to guide should be kept close as it is a perfect reference that they will want to read again and again.

The approach that the Kabat-Zinns have to parenting is profound. The book carefully guides the reader by giving them knowledge on how to slow down as a parent and live with moment-to-moment awareness. This Mindfulness paradigm and the concepts presented stem from the Zen Buddhism position. They are beautifully explained through the validation of how mindful meditation can help nourish the child-rearing process and develop a child’s behavior by naturally inspiring good conduct. Since Jon and Myla co-wrote the book, we get an open and interesting perspective from both of them. The compassion and integrity that comes across in each chapter helps make this parenting reference appealing and real to the struggles of parenting. Containing a nice balance between valuable theoretical and philosophical information with their real-life stories, the book is engaging from cover to cover.

Less of a “How To” parenting manual, this book is more of a detailed story of a forward thinking couple who place an emphasis on spirituality in their journey as parents. Their efforts are based in compassion in an uptight and materialistic world and their specific advice focuses on the basics of feeding, sleeping, and discipline. While they feel strongly about their views, they do not condone those who do not adhere to their exact parenting style.

Whether you are someone who regularly meditates or are new to the idea of daily meditation, you will feel inspired and discover that parenting is your natural calling. You will be reminded that the spiritual side of parenting is exactly what helps us make sacrifices for our children and justifies all that we do for them. Of course, like any book or guide that leans towards a more spiritual perspective, you may not agree with every view the Kabat-Zinns bring to the table. Their techniques and principles might turn off some conservative or conventional thinkers. Topics such as child birth without medication, extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping are addressed and encouraged. Even if those ideas are unappealing, this book is worth a read as it gives detailed reasoning behind those nontraditional theories. It is beautifully written with messages for all parents.

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