Being a parent requires a world of skill — here’s how mindful parenting can make your life easier, while improving your relationship with your kids.
What exactly is mindful parenting?
Mindful parenting is a practice that draws on the ideals of mindfulness. Mindfulness, in turn, is essentially a belief that you should be calm, peaceful and conscious of every present moment in your life.
By applying mindfulness to parenting, mindfulness practitioners around the world have created a novel method for parents to be more in touch with their kids, as well as their own emotions. To put it simply: mindful parenting means that you focus on embracing the present situation, instead of letting your emotions take control.
We’re not asking you to be “perfect” or “emotionless”. In fact, as a parent, you’re completely entitled to feelings of exhaustion. However, mindful parenting encourages you to deal with these emotions in a healthy manner.
Here’s exactly what you stand to gain with mindful parenting.
- Lower stress levels, more peace and happiness
- Lower likelihood of stress-related ailments like high blood pressure
- More in touch with your emotions
- Greater understanding — and love — for yourself and your child
- Reduced impulse behaviours and regrets
How does mindful parenting work?
While the term “mindful parenting” may sound daunting, it truly doesn’t involve a lot of complexity. In reality, being a mindful parent requires just a little time, effort and thought. Here are some tips to help you with your mindfulness journey as a parent.
#1 Recognise trigger situations
There are often certain situations where you’re more likely to get upset with your child than others. This could include having clashing beliefs or having your child act in a way that reminds you of someone you dislike. In these cases, you may be tempted to flare up and get upset. By noting down and categorising these events, you may be able to spot a pattern and recognise trigger situations. This way, you’ll be prepared the next time a similar event occurs, and you’ll be sure to apply mindful parenting to solve the problem.
#2 Acknowledge your emotions and take a pause
Whether predicted or not, trigger situations are unpleasant. As such, you should take a moment to collect your thoughts. Listen to your feelings, acknowledge them and tell yourself that those feelings are completely acceptable. However, before losing your temper, take a moment to pause. Here at Timeqube, we think that even two minutes of mindful breathing exercises could go a long way to improving your state of mind. Following this, you can continue with your conversation and deal with the trigger situation.
#3 Hear your child out before resolving the situation
Even when you’re calm, you may be tempted to shut the situation down as soon as possible. This, however, could halt any communication with your child. Remember, your child is growing and learning, and does not have the same experiences as you do. Similarly, you do not have your child’s experiences.
Take some time to listen to your child before calmly sharing your thoughts. Find a good middle ground, then resolve the situation together.
After all, at the end of the day, mindful parenting is about you and your child both learning to grow together.