(Mostly) Mindful Parenting: Car Trips With My Wild, Wonderful 2 Year Old

We know it’s hard to be a conscious parent in this day and age. There are so many pressures, a plethora of choices, and someone right around the corner who always seems to be doing it better. We’re here to tell you: Relax, they’re not. Here, we bring you real talk with leading experts and real parents on how they navigate the beautiful, messy work of raising a family.Welcome to (Mostly) Mindful Parenting.

When Amanda Baudier was in kindergarten, a teacher described her boisterous, free spirit as "noise pollution," something that's stuck with her ever since. "People can really stomp that joy out of us."

Now with a son of her own—two-year-old Drew—Amanda's making it a point to let him express himself however he wants, especially since it’s clear he shares Amanda's big personality. "He’s just like me when I was a kid; doesn't know about to be quiet," she says, which often makes for eventful mornings when they’re trying to get out of the door.

Luckily for Amanda, who works at a plant-based nutrition startup, Drew is the rare toddler who actually sleeps in, so she gets time to meditate before a whirlwind morning. And as far as rules of the road go once they’re in the car, screen time for Drew is totally allowed—one of the only times it is.

Case in point: Every month, Amanda drives Drew to visit family in Maryland from Brooklyn in their Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid so she can keep him occupied with the touchscreen entertainment system while she drives solo, and easily transition the minivan’s fuel from gas to electric with no worries, lessening carbon emissions during their monthly road trip. Win-win.

Of course, rest stops along the way are key for a toddler with Drew’s energy. “I don’t want to stifle his natural exuberance,” says Amanda. “I think that’s how we get ruined when we grow up. People tell us to be quiet, people tell us to hurry up. So at his age, I want to give him permission to be that loud, boisterous kid and live his best life.”

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