WHAT IS MINDFUL PARENTING?
What does mindful parenting really mean?
Does it mean you have a mindfulness practice or is it a certain method of raising your kids?
I got answers for you today.
A new study from the Catholic University of Chile suggests that parents may be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Why? As it turns out, the key to better parenting and better mental health may be as simple as letting go of worry and releasing ourselves from judgment. In other words, a simple mindfulness practice of their own!
Phew- no new “better parenting” method you have to learn or book you have to read.
What does it mean? It’s all about taking the time to take better care of YOU.
The researchers asked 62 mothers of preschool-aged children about their mindfulness and mindful parenting. Mindfulness can be defined as an in-the-moment awareness and acceptance of our thoughts and feelings.
When applied to parenting, it includes the ability to ignore critical thoughts about our parenting choices so we can focus on being present with our child. Rather than asking, “Is he going to cry all night?” or thinking, “It’s probably because I didn’t give him enough dinner,” the mindful parent accepts the crying and deals with it moment-to-moment.
In my personal practice with this, rather than being concerned what others would think of my parenting decisions like giving Almond milk to my toddler or using a binky or worrying about whether he is going to cry during our 14.5-hour flight to India. I released any worry and allowed myself to experience whatever happens in the moment, and deal with it then.
Don’t get me wrong, mindfulness doesn’t mean that I like when Ayaan cries or it doesn’t bother me. Similarly, when Ayaan has a tantrum and decides to pull my hair to express his anger, it’s not that I like his stubbornness. It just means I have tools to help me stay centered, attend to my son’s current emotional state, accept the tantrum, rather than launching automatically into anger, embarrassment or self-doubt.
The researchers believe that this could have positive effects beyond simply decreasing parenting stress, such as providing good modeling for children and even enhancing child brain development.
In addition to reporting on their mindfulness, mothers in the current study answered survey questions about their depression, anxiety, general stress, and parent-related stress. As hypothesized, mindfulness was strongly related to a mother’s mental health: The mothers who were more mindful were less stressed, anxious, and depressed.
“Parents who can name their present challenge and not blame themselves or others are more likely to have a healthier mindset and a smoother parent-child relationship.”
Wanna know how you can incorporate some mindful parenting mindset shifts into your life, try out these three below.
thIS moment is temporary
Children’s emotions constantly change from moment to moment, they shed habits and behaviors with each passing week. I view everything as a phase that will naturally have an ending point. So I say, for now, he isn’t eating dinner sitting on the table. For now, she won’t wear anything except her Elsa outfit. For now, he pulls my hair when he is angry. Remember no phase lasts forever.
Instead of getting over worried about a phase try out this mantra : “I allow space for this phase to freely pass.” Don’t try to force them or resist it. Just trust this isn’t forever.
Don’t try to force them or resist it. Just trust this isn’t forever.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO FORESHADOW EVERYTHING THAT GOES WRONG
Your job as a parent is to provide unconditional love, safety and guide your child to stay connected to their inner voice and find their own path. You will drive yourself crazy if you are pre-planning and try to avoid every tantrum or negative experience. Children are meant to express strong emotions. It’s your job to learn how to stay centered like a strong mountain and not be affected by their emotional storm.
When your child feels an uncomfortable emotion, practice two things 1. Name and to Tame it 2. Feel it to heal it.
Name what they are feeling – “I see you’re feeling sad.” Then allow them to feel it. It’s okay to feel sad. I understand how you feel. Let’s take a few deep breaths to allow our sadness to wash away . And practice breathing with them.
your child is innately good
We parent with the premise that our kids will do things wrong and we have to teach them what’s right. We have to provide boundaries, step in when they are in imminent danger to themselves or others, otherwise we have to remember our children our divine souls that are infinite, powerful and intuitive. Teach them to tap into their own inner voice and you’ll teach them to always have their own inner guidance system showing the right path.
Instead of thinking your child is wired to do wrong and bad things- open up to the idea that my child is being guided by his soul to experience the world around him. I nurture his love of learning, while only stepping in if it will cause imminent harm to himself or someone else.
Now I want to hear from you,
Share in the comments below what is one mindful parenting tool you practice with your kids.
Your inspiration and wisdom can serve all us mindful mamas so don’t be afraid to share.
Being a mindful parent isn’t easy. We are inventing the wheel and figuring it out as we go. We are the first generation of mindful parents so of course, we will make mistakes, but it’s through our continued support, sharing and growth we will raise the first generation of mindful children TOGETHER.
You aren’t in this alone.
Thank you for being a part of my extraordinary tribe! You are remarkable!
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