The Why And How Of Mindful Parenting
I am sure when your anger gets out of control, your children feel inadequate. But I also know how difficult it feels to keep a check on your emotions. After all, parenting is not an easy task. You need to have the right kind of mindset and focus on raising your children.
By incorporating mindfulness into parenting techniques, you can be conscious about how you interact with your children. Continue reading further to catch a glimpse of what mindful parenting is all about.
The ‘why’ of mindful parenting
When caught up with life and work problems, we often exhibit disproportionate emotional reactions towards our children. For instance, you burst out in anger when your child spills milk from their glass. Similarly, work-life tensions prevent you from spending 100% with the child. Meaning, you could be thinking about your office project while reading your child a book. Being emotionally reactive or distracted will badly affect your bond with the child.
To enhance the quality of the relationship with your children, you need to incorporate mindfulness in your parenting techniques. Mindful parenting is one of the best ways to build healthy and successful relationships. With the help of mindful parenting, you train yourself to stay focused entirely while spending time with your children. At the same time, you develop better control over your own emotions. So, you will be able to interact with your children in a positive and balanced manner.
Now, the critical question- How do you practice mindful parenting?
Valuable pointers for mindful parenting
1. Practice mindfulness daily
Just 10 minutes every day will do. Otherwise, you can also take a walk or listen to music. As you practice mindfulness, it transforms how you handle your interpersonal relationships. For instance, mindfulness practices induce emotional equilibrium. So, you can efficiently manage a teenager’s tantrums, a youngster’s mood swings, a child’s problems.
2. In conflict with your child?
Pay attention to your feelings first. Question yourself. What triggered an argument with your child, and how do you feel about it? Are you sad, angry, frustrated? Whatever be the emotions, experience them without judgment or resistance. Gently remind yourself that you are not your emotions. In this manner, you can train yourself to be mindful of your feelings. The next time you feel conflicted with your child’s behavior, be aware of your feelings and emotions. Once you do that, your feelings lose power over you. So, you calmly interact with your child.
3. Overpowering Emotions
Sometimes, your emotions overpower you in ways that you can never imagine. Remember that time you got mad at your child because they aren’t listening to you? A little anger or seriousness is essential for parenting. However, we aren’t talking about that. What if you display a disproportionate amount of anger for your child’s mistake? What if you were venting out your frustration over the child? Even in the heat of those angry moments, you can calm yourself down. Whenever you feel angry, observe your breath and body. Sit with emotions and pay attention to your breath. As you notice your breath, a space of awareness opens up inside you, which will help you overpower unhealthy emotional reactions.
4. Encourage communication during mealtime
Quite possibly, you will find your child eating their food with eyes glued to mobile screens. For whatever questions you ask, you will hear only one-word answers. For mindful parenting, create a healthy space of open communication. Request your child to keep away electronic devices like phones while having food. Try to initiate conversations. Ask your child questions like How was school/college? What are your friends doing?
5. Be attentive to the needs of your child
In the previous points, I already spoke about ways to control your overwhelming emotions like anger. After that, you need to identify what your child’s needs are at the moment. Simply put, what is it that your child needs from you? Your child might be seeking your trust, love, acceptance. Once you identify what your child needs, you can figure out how to respond.
6. Respect your children’s boundaries
You need to understand your child’s needs and concerns. At the same time, you must create healthy boundaries between yourself and your children. This involves respecting that your children are different from you. Make it a point to see your children as individuals with different opinions and attitudes.
Mindful parenting helps you to raise your children in the best manner possible. You can practice mindful parenting by mindfulness meditation, paying attention to your feelings, pausing when angry, communicating during mealtime, paying attention to your child’s needs, and respecting your children’s boundaries.