Mindful Parenting – What is it?
Mindfulness | Mindfulness in Parenthood | Listen Carefully | Acceptance | Emotional Awareness | Take Your Time | Be Attentive | Mindfulness in Everyday Life | Mindfulness With Children| Conclusion
Before knowing what Mindful Parenting is, you have to understand what Mindfulness is?
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means being attentive to what we are going through at the moment, to our thoughts, to our emotions, and physical sensations to accept what happens to us without saying whether it is “good” or “bad.” Mindfulness soothes and helps to respond appropriately.
How can I integrate mindfulness into my role as a parent?
It is not always easy to be aware of the present moment, because a lot of things distract us and prevent us from being fully attentive to what we do or to the people around us. Sometimes we all attach too much importance to the past; we worry about the future and get distracted. Our mind jumps from rooster to donkey. It is what experts call “the monkey spirit.” It is as if a group of monkeys jumped and shouted in our heads to attract our attention. It is possible to control this phenomenon, but you have to practice it. Here are ways to do it:
Try to do the following:
- Give your full attention to your child.
- Observe your child’s facial expressions, tone, and body language when you listen to them.
- Take note of what happens when you judge your child’s words or give advice without being asked.
Accept yourself and your child as they are
Try to do the following:
- Accept your child without judging what he feels, his abilities, his qualities, or his behavior.
- Think about the hopes you have for your child. Would you prefer it to be different?
- Make sure your expectations of your child match their age and ability. Does your child have specific needs?
- Think about what makes your child unique.
- Accept how your child feels, even when he is angry. It does not mean that you have to excuse his behavior, but rather try to understand his feelings, also if you do not like his tone.
- Accept yourself as you are, without being judgmental. Nobody is perfect! Children need to realize that we all make mistakes and that it is possible to solve problems and resolve conflicts.
Be aware of your emotions and those of your child.
Try to do the following:
- Say out loud, what you are thinking and how you are feeling. Pay attention to pleasant and unpleasant feelings.
- Remember that thoughts and feelings are not “facts” and that in many
- cases, they fade quickly.
- Be aware of all the feelings and thoughts that arise when you are upset.
- Put yourself in your child’s place to determine how he is feeling.
- Notice how your mood affects your child’s cell and vice versa.
Take time out
Try to do the following:
- When you are confused, take a deep breath before reacting to regain your composure.
- Keep track of the reaction of your body when you are upset.
- Be calm and patient when your child is angry, crying, or upset. Help him tell you how he feels and talk about it.
- Think about how your child feels when you react without thinking.
Try to do the following:
- Forgive your mistakes. Emphasize your efforts. It is not easy to be a parent, and we all make mistakes.
- Be warm and affectionate towards your child.
- Be understanding of your child and treat them with compassion. It is even more critical when his behavior is a source of frustration.
- Put yourself in your child’s place.
Mindfulness in everyday life
There are several ways to include mindfulness in everyday life.
Give your full attention to your child. Put your electronics aside. If you start to think about something else, slowly become aware of the present moment and the conversation with your child.
Use every opportunity to spend quality time with your child. Hug him, read a book together, or go for a walk with him. Prepare a meal, indulge in a hobby, do household chores, go outdoors, or play a board game with your child.
Be at your best. Try to manage your stress well to be at your best with your family.
If possible, do one thing at a time. It will make you more productive and less stressed. Help your child do the same. For example :
- During meals, focus on what you eat and the people at the table. Leave your electronics in another room, and do not turn on the TV.
- If possible, have your child do homework without listening to music or using electronic devices. If your child needs music while working, ask him to try listening to classical music or nature sounds like flowing water or birdsong.
- Take a walk outside without headphones.
Do not fill your child all the time. Make sure he has time to play and use his imagination. Children need time to think, dream, and create. If their schedules are too busy, they will get tired and stressed. Children don’t always have to have something to do. Take a drive with your child and ask them not to use an electronic device or watch a DVD.
Limit the time in front of a screen. If your child spends too much time in front of a computer, TV, or other devices, he will not have time to engage in other activities such as playing, having a hobby, and seeing his friends. Some video games can overload your senses, especially if you play them for too long.
Focus on feelings. Help your child say what he is feeling and understand that the feelings are fading, sometimes quickly. Tell him not to be ashamed of what he is feeling and that his opinions do not define him as a person.
“Why are you shouting? Are you angry? ”
Helping children become aware
There are many ways to help children focus on the present.
Make the connection between body and mind. Allow your child to play a vital role instead of being a spectator. Encourage him to sing, dance, play music, draw, paint, or build something.
Go outdoors. Walking in the woods or on the banks of a lake or a river has a soothing effect. Watch the sunrise or sunset. Admire the clouds, the moon, and the stars. Help your child become aware of his senses. Ask him what he sees, what he hears, and what he feels.
Awaken the senses and get dirty. Encourage the child to use all of his feelings and get dirty by painting with his fingers or playing in water, sand, mud, and earth. Sow seeds to grow flowers and vegetables.
Integrate mindfulness into your parenting role
After a day of work, you need to respond to other emails from the home office. Your children play in the same room. They make noise and scream. Now your three-year-old is crying because his five-year-old brother pushed him. Your anger is mounting. You wonder why your kids are constantly bickering, especially when you are very busy and stressed. Now you are about to shout too.
Then you take a deep breath. You realize your anger and your frustration. Then you see that you are unhappy that you have to continue your home office work. After that, you tell yourself that your children are young and that they are learning to resolve their conflicts and deal with their frustration.
You take another deep breath and tell them, as calmly as possible:
- “Hey! What is happening? “
When your children have explained themselves, and you have helped them to speak calmly, you show them that you understand them by repeating what they told you:
” I see. Johnny wanted to help you build the house you’ve been working on for a long time, and you feared he would damage it. But Johnny wanted to play too. He got angry and punched your house. It made you angry, and you pushed Johnny. Everyone is angry and frustrated. It’s okay to be frustrated, but you shouldn’t destroy another person’s objects or push people. Let’s all take a moment to calm down together. ”
You sit on the sofa, between your two children, and hug them. When you have all calmed down, you say:
- “What could we do if Peter wants to build a house on his own, but Johnny wants to help him?” “
You listen to your children and help them calmly chat with each other. Then you help them find a solution instead of fixing the problem for them. And finally, you don’t force them to play together, to be helpful, or to apologize.
And if you get angry sometimes, don’t blame yourself. After all, you are only a human being, and it is not easy to be a parent. Take a deep breath and move on.
Life with children
When we spend a lot of time with children, we experience great moments of joy, wonder, love, happiness, wonder, affection, and tenderness. And we experience that being together can be very challenging, sometimes stressful and conflict-laden. Then we feel exhausted, unsettled, angry, or sad. All of this is quite normal. It is part of life. In the family, in the daycare, in school.
If we deal with each other consciously and attentively, it will be easier for us to experience these ups and downs of emotions, this unpredictable, chaotic life, this exciting time as enrichment, as an opportunity to grow and mature together.
“Mindful parenting is the hardest job in the world. Still, it also has the potential for the deepest kind of satisfaction and pleasure for all of life, the potential for the greatest feelings of connectedness, community, and togetherness.” Jon Kabat tin
Mindfulness is a natural ability that everyone has. Most people are not aware of this or have difficulty using this ability in everyday life. But you can learn mindfulness again and thereby gain a peaceful, loving, and accepting way of dealing with yourself, with fellow human beings and with the events of life.
Mindfulness can easily be practiced by consciously breathing in and out. Meditation, physical exercises, and conscious awareness of emotions and thoughts can also support you. Exchanges and conversations with other practitioners or the teacher clarify your situation. Together you can discover what the real reason for the perceived stress is, what unsettles you, or prevents you from being compassionate. At the same time, the exchange helps you to recognize where there are already available resources that give us strength and peace in everyday life, and what opportunities there are for you to tackle changes.
Regular mindfulness practice creates psychological flexibility, inner peace, and quiet – this enables loving care for yourself and others, even if the environment is currently stressful. Many exercises from mindfulness bring about relaxing states of relaxation (meditation, body scan, breathing exercises). When we are not part of the automatic reaction pattern, we get more contact with our inner wisdom, get clarifying insights, and can act consciously and wisely.