Ronnie's Awesome List presents a guest article by Aaron Schiller, founder of the Mindful Father Group, designed to support dads in their journey to be more involved, patient, accepting, and loving parents. Join his workshop Mindful Fathers Workshop this Sunday, February 28 for fathers and grandfathers to receive practical tools for being the kind of dads you want to be.
It is hard for me to articulate just how much I love my children. I want to be there for them 100% even when I don’t have 100% to give. At the end of each day I got through the same ritual after putting my daughter to sleep. I ask myself did I serve them as best I could? Will they forgive me for when I lost my patience, for wanting to be somewhere other than with them, for being on my phone instead of paying attention to them... After I ask these questions silently to myself in their quiet room I fall to my knees and put my head on the ground. I thank them for letting me be of service to them both. I get up and walk out of their room.
For many years I felt deeply responsible to provide for my children and love them the best I could. However that responsibility weighed on me at times and I struggled to stay present for them. For example, when my daughters would wake me up in the middle of the night, I became quite the angry bear around 2 or 3 am. Nothing I did could change that pattern. However after many months of deepening my mindfulness practice, bowing to my children and shifting my perspective from being responsible to being in complete service to them something changed. Now if my youngest wakes me up in the middle of the night instead of feeling frustrated or angry I find myself rising to the occasion to be of service to her. I pick her up and bring her into my bed. I hold her and love her with all of my being as she falls back asleep next to me. I know there are parenting experts out there who might say I am making a poor choice by letting her sleep in my bed. However, I am not interested in just getting my daughter to behave in a certain way. I am focused on serving her and that changes everything.
I realize not every dad will want to start bowing to their kids or even have their kids sleep in their bed. However, I do believe that the more mindful we can be in regards to why we are looking after our kids, the more we can build the relationship with them that we can nurture through each stage of their development. When we are mindfully in service to our children we engage with them in a whole new way.
Aaron Schiller is on a mission to support young people and help their families overcome life’s many challenges. As the founder of Coach Schiller Coaching & Counseling, Aaron has made it his life's work to explore these challenges and come up with real-time solutions that can be implemented on a daily basis. Aaron offers a unique approach by working with families in their homes and communities to bring holistic support into their lives. He also collaborates with local therapists and other specialists to serve the needs of young people and their families. Aaron is also the founder of the Mindful Father Group, a training designed to support dads in their journey to be more involved, patient, accepting, and loving parents. He has over 15 years of experience working with young people as a former Special Education Teacher, Group Home Counselor and Youth Sports Coach. He has a credential from The Interchange Counseling Institute and is currently on their leadership team supporting the 2015 class of students. Aaron lives with his wife and two daughters in Mill Valley, California. It is in his home that he learns from his own trials, tribulations and joys of being a parent.