Parenting is a stressful job. Between all the errands, homework, playtime, and temper tantrums, it’s can be easy to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Most parents go day by day dealing with one mess or issue at a time, not really paying attention to what’s happening around them or tuning into their children’s needs.
Going through each day mindlessly can prevent you from further connecting with your children and may even make the day more chaotic than it needs to be. Mindfulness is an essential tool that helps you stay in the present moment. It increases your awareness to truly see the moment for what it is and know how to respond. Mindful parenting allows you to further connect with your children, understand their needs, and react accordingly.
Mindfulness can be used in all areas of life, including parenting. Read on to learn more about incorporating mindfulness into your parenting.
What is Mindful Parenting?
Mindfulness is the act of staying in the present. It is a tool to ground yourself in the now so that you can act accordingly to the situation at hand. It helps you get out of your head so that your thoughts and ruminations are not keeping you from focusing on the present.
Mindful parenting is the act of remaining in the present when faced with the chaos and stress of parenting. It’s listening and connecting with your children to understand their needs and being aware of your emotions so that you can respond appropriately.
Many parents inadvertently create more chaos or hurt their relationship with their children simply because they don’t remain mindful. By mindlessly going the day, they fail to understand their children’s wants and needs as well as find a good solution to the chaos and confrontations that arise.
Parenting with mindfulness can create a more rewarding parenting experience and deepen your connection with your children. Read on to learn some tips to start parenting mindfully.
How to Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Parenting
Accept You And Your Children’s Emotions
The first step to mindful parenting is accepting the emotions that you feel. Parenting is stressful, exhausting, and often frustrating. It’s hard not to let negative emotions get the best of you when you argue with your children about their picky eating habits or tell them to finish their homework for the seventh time. This is all normal. Don’t deny these emotions, and don’t ignore them either.
Furthermore, accept your children’s emotions without judgment. Many children struggle to manage their emotions in a healthy way; some don’t learn these tools until adulthood. That means they will make it very clear what they are feeling as soon as they feel it. Though it may not be easy or fun, fully accept their emotions. Do not deny their emotions, as this can cause far worse mental health consequences down the road.
You probably think you already got this listening thing figured out. Of course, you listen to your children; there’s no way you can go a day without listening to them.
But mindful listening is different. Mindful listening quiets the chatter in your mind so you can really hear what your children are trying to tell you. Sometimes we get so focused on our agenda and routines that we don’t stop to listen to our children’s needs. Mindful listening allows you to further connect with your children so that you can understand their needs and have a deeper dialogue about them.
Regulate and Manage Your Emotions
As mentioned earlier, it can take some years for children to learn how to manage and express their emotions calmly and healthily. Therefore, you will need to ensure that you can manage your emotions well so that conflicts don’t blow out of proportion. Yes, it’s frustrating that your toddler is throwing a tantrum, but you throwing a tantrum right back at them isn’t going to fix the problem.
Be mindful of how you react to the more stressful and emotional moments of parenting. Find healthy ways to manage your emotions so that you can more easily attend to your children’s emotions without losing control or doing something you will regret.
Compassion is a major aspect of mindfulness philosophy. This involves showing empathy and considering life from your children’s point of view. Children have full autonomy just like adults but are constantly given rules and restrictions that they don’t understand. The world can be a big and confusing place full of adults who seem to criticize or restrict them for reasons that are not always clear to them. It’s no wonder they are often so confused or overwhelmed.
Furthermore, be compassionate with yourself. No one is a parenting expert, and there is no good universal guidebook to follow. Yes, you will make mistakes, but so does every parent. Just work to be more mindful and make sure you do your best when raising your children.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.