With so much parenting information out there, it would be great to simplify to just one clear method. As a certified KonMari Consultant and parenting instructor, I have been delighted to help families live a more joyful life by tidying up their home and their parenting!
I was honored to shared this simple and joyful technique in a virtual chat with Motherhood and Parenting consultant Nosa Aigbe who dialed in from Nigeria on Global Day of Parents.
If you are not familiar with the KonMari Method™, there are 6 basic rules to tidy your home. And each one of those can also be applied to how you raise your children so they become more responsible, confident, and grateful while building a stronger bond with their parents.
The first 18 minutes of this video are of me sharing this new way of parenting. I’m also going to highlight the points below for your reference.
1. Commit To Tidying
When it comes to tidying your home, you must believe that by choosing to keep what sparks joy and letting go with gratitude, you can live a life that sparks joy everyday.
To apply this to parenting, think about what kind of parent do you want to be? Whether you want to practice respectful parenting, conscious parenting, or simply be a parent who doesn’t yell at their kids, make a commitment to yourself and really focus your energy and hold yourself accountable to that promise.
2. Envision Your Ideal Lifestyle
Before tidying, you must envision how you want to live your life. Do the same with parenting. Picture every little detail down to what you see, hear, or feel when you are home with your children. What is your morning or evening routine like? Imagine the most joyful childhood you want to experience with your children.
3. Finish Decluttering First
There are 3 things you want to try to let go and prepare yourself to parent from a clear mind:
Let Go of Control
We cannot control anyone except ourselves, we can only influence or inspire others. Children having a tantrum are “out of control” because their needs aren’t being met. This doesn’t mean you let them do anything they want. It only means they need to be heard and understood because something is so overwhelming that they can’t manage their impulses and emotions. So instead of forcing a child to comply, which will ultimately backfire, control our own stress and anxiety in those moments so you can handle the situation from a more empathetic approach.
Let Go of Expectations
When we have expectation, our mind moves away from the present. And anything that doesn’t align with how we imagined will become a disappointment. When your expectation for a child to learn how to fold laundry isn’t met. It’s time to focus on encouragement and teaching rather than getting frustrated or giving up.
Let Go of Projecting
Many people suffering from unresolved childhood issues get triggered easily once they become parents. Being mindful that your children’s reactions or decisions are their own, and don’t mix them with our own feelings. Doing the self work will ultimately make you a more present and mindful parent.
Be grateful that every melt-down is a chance for you to grow closer to your child, when you can connect and learn what kind of help or support they need.
4. Tidy By Categories
When you are tidying items in your home, we work our way through the Clothing, Books, Paper, Komono (Miscellany), and Sentimental categories.
Break down your parenting troubles into categories such as School, Home, Family/Relationship, Habits, Life Skills etc. that are not sparking joy. It’s easier to look at these problems individually and find the resources to tackle that specific issue, then trying to manage all the issues at once.
5. Tidy In The Correct Order
Using the KonMari Method™ to tidy in the order that gradually hone our joy-checking skills through easy to more difficult categories.
When using the same approach for parenting, start with either what is the most urgent matter if it’s connected to a timeline that you can’t control. For example, school grades or needing to potty train before you return to work. Otherwise, start with the easier stuff such as simple chores that the kids can do independently.
6. Ask Yourself If It Sparks Joy
When something sparks joy, those objects bring positive feelings and make you feel happy and light.
For parenting, you always know when you haven’t handled a situation in an ideal way and you end up feeling guilty or mad at yourself. It’s not so much about choosing your battles, but finding a solution that is a win-win. You can achieve this by inviting your child to give input throughout the process. Being heard and being able to contribute will encourage them to be held accountable and build confidence in being self-reliant and a problem solver. The more they feel secure to share their thoughts, the closer the bond you’ll have and cooperation will come naturally.
I hope you find this new perspective to tidy up your parenting like owning a roadmap to a calmer and more joyful parenthood. If you are interested in additional inspirations or need more support. I invited you to follow me on Instagram where I post daily tips, or join my Facebook Spark Joy Parenting Group*.
*UPDATE: The name of my group has been changed to Simple Joy Parenting. 6/21/20