How To Be A Mindful Parent
No matter how busy we are, it’s important to take time for ourselves and be mindful. As parents, our minds are constantly racing from work to home life and all the other things that come with being a parent, that it’s easy to forget to be mindful. It can feel impossible sometimes to stay in the moment when we are bombarded with distractions everywhere we look.
Mindfulness is a technique that can be used at any time throughout your day to help you reduce stress, feel less anxious or worry and become calmer in general. In this post, we will show you what being mindful means, how you can be a mindful parent, the benefits of being mindful, and much more!
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What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of focusing your attention on your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. When you’re mindful, your present! you don’t worry about future outcomes and what might have happened in the past. Instead, you stay aware of your body’s current state. Mindfulness is being fully engaged in the present moment.
Disciplining Your Child and Mindfulness
Sometimes as parents we confuse discipline with punishment. In stressed-out moments when your child is misbehaving or done something naughty, it’s easy to forget to be mindful and automatically yell or punish your child, without really being mindful of your words, or tone of voice.
Disciplining means teaching your child how to behave. You want your child to know what is right and what is wrong so that they can make the right decision.
Punishment is to take away control from the child by making them “pay” for their mistakes by focusing on the things they did wrong, rather than teaching them the correct way to deal with the situation.
So how do you be mindful when you’re about to lose your cool with your kids?
- PAUSE – So your child hasn’t cleaned their room even though you asked them to. If you usually find yourself raising your voice or nagging, try taking a deep breath first. Ask yourself whether your child simply needs to be reminded, or whether they need a more thorough explanation of what you consider a clean and tidy room.
- STAY POSITIVE – instead of focusing on the things your child did wrong, focus on what they are doing right! Look at the situation together and find a solution to the problem and guide them through it rather than focusing on punishment.
- PAY ATTENTION – While you may disagree with your child’s behavior, it’s important to validate their feelings by listening closely. Let them explain their side of the story, by putting away your phone and any distractions and giving them 100% of your attention and ears!
- LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE – Your relationship with your child is much more important than any mishaps that may arise. Look at the situation and be open to bending your own rules when it serves the greater good.
Being Mindful When You’re Busy or Stressed Out
As a parent you’re constantly on the move, solving problems, organizing schedules, dealing with tantrums the lists go on and on, that sometimes the idea of being mindful just feels like another thing to do on an ever-growing list!
Whether you are super stressed out or just downright busy, these simple tips will help keep you mindful
- Stop what you’re doing and take some deep breaths to calm your mind.
- Observe how you’re feeling and any negative thoughts you may be having regarding the current situation.
- Make a conscious, thoughtful decision on how to calmy proceed in tackling the situation at hand.
Some Great Way’s To Practice Being Mindful Include:
- Meditation – try to meditate for at least 5 minutes a day, even if it’s right before bed. Let any negative thoughts or feelings go and just focus on your breathing.
- Repeat positive affirmations
- Change your focus and find things to be grateful for
- Don’t let a busy day ahead stress you out right now. Focus on the present and give your undivided attention to what you’re doing right now.
Teaching Mindfulness To Kids
Help Your Child Develop Healthy Mindful Habits By:
1. Managing Screen Time. Limit the amount of screen time your child has, and make sure to switch off all devices at least 1 hour before bed for more restful sleep.
2. Starting New Hobbies. Help your child find hobbies that they love. Hobbies can help children learn new skills, reduce their stress levels, and help them to express their creative side.
3. Learning Together. Learn new things together as a family, read bedtime stories together or volunteer at their school!
4. Encouraging Your Child To Give. Show and teach your child the joy of giving by being an example yourself. Make a list of ways to help others and do them together as a family, whether that be volunteering at a food bank, or helping your elderly neighbor next door with the groceries.
Be Mindful Each Day
Mindfulness is not a fad but a way of life. Each day work on letting go of expectations and focusing on the moment by making clear, conscious positive choices.
Otherways To Be Mindful:
1. Family Meals. Try to eat together regularly as a family each day, if that’s not possible try to designate at least one night a week to sit down and eat together.
2. Start A Morning Ritual. Create a morning ritual that encourages you to stay mindful. Say affirmations in the shower, go for a quick walk around your block, or simply write down what your grateful for each morning.
3. Meditate. Try to meditate frequently, either alone for a few minutes before bed, or by listening to a guided meditation as a family.
4. Be Playful. Draw pictures with your child, sing and dance together, roleplay, or build a cushion fort! Live in the moment and let everything go and truly enjoy the present moment.
Benefits Of Mindful Parenting For Parents
- More patience
- Reduced anxiety
- Enables us to be less reactive to things that would usually push our buttons
- Improves emotional awareness
- Increases gratitude
- Allows us to be more in-tune with our children
- Increases coping mechanisms to deal with difficult situations, such as tantrums, etc.
- Improved immune system
Benefits of Mindful Parenting and Meditation for Children
- Enhances emotion regulation and impulse control
- Improves self-esteem
- Improves self-confidence
- Reduces stress
- Reduces anxiety and fears
- Children feel safer and more secure
- Creates grateful children able to live in the present moment
- Reduces behavioral problems
- Improves concentration and attention
- Improves parent-child relationship
- Helps children feel more compassion and empathy towards others
Being mindful and helping your children be mindful is one of the greatest gifts you can give to them. What things do you do each day to focus on and live in the moment with your children? let us know in the comments!