Mindful parenting is when you are being in present, in the moment, with your children. Your 100 percent attention is the supreme gift you can ever give your children, and mindful parenting is a way to help you to do that.
In this world of technology and fast pace life many a times it becomes difficult for parents to be mindful while interacting with children.
Even for me there are so many times when I feel tempted to keep my phone in my hand during some exciting play time with my little one or get distracted by some unwanted thoughts.
What does mindful parenting mean?
- Mindful parenting means that you bring your conscious attention to what’s happening, instead of getting carried away by your emotions.
- Mindfulness is about letting go about the past, not worrying about future and just and focusing on right now. It’s about accepting whatever is going on with your senses rather than trying to change it or ignore it.
- Mindful parenting does not mean being a “perfect parent”.
- Managing our own emotions and behaviors is crucial while teaching kids how to manage. Unfortunately, when you’re stressed out, exhausted or disturbed you can’t be available for your child.
- Being a mindful parent means that you pay attention on your feelings in a conscious feelings rather then carried away by the environment
- It does not mean that you will not get angry or upset. You will feel negative emotions, but as a parent you would prefer to act thoughtfully rather than over reacting.
7 Mantras for Mindful Parenting
Parenting often provides daily challenging experiences. There are so many events that occur in one single day in a life of a parent. It starts from daily chores, probably as simple as taking batch, cooking, dropping kids to school, travelling to office or may be taking care of elders in family etc.
As a parent you can follow these 7 Mantras for Mindful Parenting
1. Communication with your child
Communication is one of the most important things between the family members. There are so many times when your child does something which you feel is wrong but your child feels its correct as per him.
We all react differently so when things go wrong, we sometimes assume that everyone has the same reactions and beliefs. For example, there was a parent who used to often shout on her daughter as she never used to keep her things in place after using it and labeled her as careless. When the daughter was asked that why she kept everything so messy she said she prefers keeping messy as that is how she felt comfortable. The daughter also said that she would prefer to clear all the things by end of the day. The mother was then asked to observe her child if she followed what the daughter said. Her daughter actually cleaned up all the mess by end of the day. Things were easy while talking consciously instead of reacting without thinking.
The kind of words that we chose while talking, the pitch and the tone of our voice matters a lot.
Like I know of the other instances where in the mother had shared that just by changing her tone of voice the aggression levels of her went down drastically.
2. Stay in present
When something unexpected happens, it is normal that one gets worked up which can take you away from the present. Example your child’s teacher tells you that your child is not good in Math and has difficulties with number. In such a scenario it’s so easy to imagine a future where they might have to struggle in school and many other thoughts pertaining to his future life might crop up. The point is that you as a parent must think how can you help the child today rather than worrying about his life 10 years later.
3. Accept your little one (and yourself) without judgment.
Parenthood is exhausting. There will be many moments when you judge your child (or yourself) in a negative way. Acceptance of all feelings, even the negative ones, is important. If you can acknowledge a feeling without being overwhelmed by it, you can respond with patience, rather than react out of frustration and anger.
Knowing what to expect from your child can help you accept her feelings and behavior with more understanding
4. Active listening
While talking with your child see to it that it is not a one-sided conversation which gives you one worded response or a long conversation. There is a difference between hearing and listening. Also, active listening and passive listening. It is important to that you as a parent listen to your child and not just pretend to listen.
If you practice listening it will definitely give you insights about your child and his thoughts.
5. Keep in your child’s place and then respond
This strategy asks you to imagine how your child might be feeling during a difficult moment. Example during my session with one couple they said that the child was aggressive. However, he was wrongly labeled. He became aggressive because his feelings were not understood well by his parents. Example, if your child is yelling while playing all of sudden there would be some reason towards it. Instead of spanking the child you can simply rephrase his anger into words and then match your response.
6. Regulate your own feelings and reactions
Mindfulness does not mean that you cannot get frustrated or angry. It just means that you think before reacting in stressful situations. If you can be calm when your child is not, she learns that she can depend on you during the situations when she has a tough time. Hence it is important that you role model and act in a way that your child can pick up cues from you. Example if you toss in your bed before an important presentation chances are very high that your child might also have sleepless nights before attempting an important paper
7. Show kindness for yourself and your child
You as a parent also deserve compassion. Instead of blaming one can stop to realize that everyone has some kind of struggle and challenges. The battle might me different for each one of us and these feelings are normal. Self-compassion means recognizing that parenting is a process of learning. If your approach didn’t work the way you wanted, try something else the next time. Many people fail to be kind to themselves
The above-mentioned pointers are something that one can follow in daily life. However, to imply this one needs to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is just a matter of practice.
There are few activities that you and your child can do together to practice mindfulness. I will write on this in one of the future blogs.
Incase you want to learn more about mindful parenting please drop a line in comment section or email us. We will be happy to conduct a workshop for you and your friends on how to practice mindfulness on everyday basis or we can invite you when we conduct for other parents.