Do you let your kids help when you’re in the kitchen? They can make a pretty big mess, but there’s great lessons to be learned there for kids. In fact, the kitchen can still teach us adults a few things, too!

My youngest son loves to help in the kitchen.

I stared at my sister and said, “That’s amazing. Those two words can really inform many of our actions — especially as parents.” She nodded in agreement, with a wink that she knew this all along.

I left her house that day thinking about low and slow. When I stayed aware of those two simple words, I noticed that my behaviour actually changed.

I noticed that I was intentionally making time for in between things that always were rushed before. I was carefully getting everything ready to be on time for our out of the house activities, I spent time creating better lunches for us, and I stopped trying to cram events into a time-slot that was going to be too tight.

My children often complain that I race ahead of them: they’re usually running after me. Now, I’m trying to remember to slow down to walk with them. My sister’s children mentioned she does that, too, so we laughed thinking that we must be programmed to walk fast because we are from the far north and grew up either trying to outrun clouds of mosquitoes or not get frozen solid walking to school in -40 celcius.

To me, low and slow means being aware of any emotional intensity and making space to really focus on calming strategies. We’re trying to stop letting “busy” be a thing in our house.

Photo credit: “Words” Pinterest board by Chelsea Gurno

But the most amazing thing about low and slow is that it can apply to so many different situations when it comes to life and parenting – it’s all subject to interpretation, and they’re all valid. I asked parents on my Facebook page what they thought of when they heard the words and was delighted with their thoughtful responses.

Here are some of them:

Low – to get down to their level, and Slow – to take time to think before I act. Make my parenting a choice not a reaction.” – Victoria H.

“I thought of getting low to the ground to meet the child where she/he is, and taking time (slow) to connect.” – Velma S.

“Scheduling: have a low key, calm lifestyle, routine, and attitude about life. I think that rubs off on the kids the most and helps them feel emotional rest and the least amount of stress.” – Bethany S.

“I thought of dealing with life at the lowest possible level—no dramas. Also, to take your time: stop & stare, reflect, and think.” – Mandy U.

“Keep expectations low and make slow progress! After all, any progress is still progress.” – Heather T.

“I thought of cooking things low and slow and how it takes time to make something delicious.” – Morgan C.

“Calm voice and labored speech: don’t use big words or too many words. And, fixing problems with parenting takes time and you can’t fix everything at once.” – Tony C.

I love that these parents interpreted the words differently and into things I hadn’t thought of. Taking time to think, engage the rational part of our minds when we’re upset, and connect are actions that require quite some intention. It can be quite easy to get swept into a feeling of urgency when emotions rise and patience falls.

Low and slow are reminding me about that intention; parenting is a work in progress, and metaphors about cooking apply to what we need to do to raise our children. Just as Morgan mentioned above, it takes time to make something delicious. When we keep the temperature low, we’re sure not to burn things, and push the food we are cooking to be heated faster than the taste and texture can keep up with. The best infusion of flavours and tenderness happens over time.

What do the words “low and slow” mean to you? Is there another word or two that helps keep your parenting feet grounded?

I’d love to hear what those are—can you please comment below or over on my Facebook page? And, if you’d like information on using positive parenting strategies, I suggest looking at my Taming Tantrums app (foriPhone & Android).

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