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If I had to pick just one rule of parenting, it wouldn’t be “never wake a sleeping baby” or “just love your children enough and it will all work out.” It wouldn’t even be “there are no rules.” Rather, it would be this:

Learn how to pay attention, and what to pay attention to.

Many of us move through life assuming that we either have the ability to pay attention or we don’t, and if we don’t (or, more likely, if our energetic six year old child doesn’t) then we need to medicate ourselves (or our little one) back into paying attention.

Actually, most of us move through life without ever paying attention to whether or not we pay attention.

You can read the rest of this post over on my Mindful Parenting blog on PsychCentral.