Parenting is not without its challenges, and the complex relationship with your child can really press your buttons. It’s a little like having a manic depressive personality; one minute we feel extreme pride and joy towards our child and the next, disappointment and anger.
All too often our emotions often times mirror theirs. We get caught up in the existing energy of the moment and long after our children have moved on, we find ourselves holding on to those strong emotions.
We get stuck in thinking mode and lose sight of reality.
These thoughts often times cast judgements and interpret events and situations as a result of our own limiting belief systems. A limiting belief is something that we choose to accept about life, about ourselves, about our world, or about the people in it, that limits us in some way. That is to say, we create our own stories, and see things through our own lens.
This is the opposite of mindful parenting.
A mindful parent operates out of the awareness around his/her thoughts and feelings, and remains present and open in each situation. They pay attention, in the moment, on purpose without judgement. You can become a more mindful parent just like this.
You have a relationship with your child, and whilst you can’t control the actions or opinions of others, you most certainly can control your own and begin to respond instead of react.
When we respond, we take ourselves out of the equation and focus on the facts and strengthen our relationships with our children. Conversely, when we react, we are acting from a place of emotion and often times fear and judgement too.
Recognizing and distinguishing between our thoughts and emotions, will allow you to become a more mindful parent and is the key towards a healthier relationship with your child.
10 Tips To Help You Become A More Mindful Parent
Tip #1: Take A Parental ‘Time Out’
Try not to react immediately to the situation itself. Rather, take a series of deep breaths so you can begin to get out of your head and focus on the present moment.
Tip #2: Avoid Expectations
The only thing you can expect as a parent is that differences will arise between you and your child. Other than that, avoid creating any expectations for your child and accept them as they are.
Tip #3: Dwell On What’s Right.
Focus on things that are positive in your relationship with your child. This will draw more positive behavior out of them.
Tip #4: Create A Foundation Of Love
Always let them know that they are loved, no matter what.
Tip #5: Communication Is Key
Choose your words wisely, stay away from constantly complaining and criticizing…choose communication over conflict.
Tip #6: Have Your Own Life And Interests
Tip #7: Focus On The Solution Rather Than The Problem
There’s no point crying over spilt milk. Focus on how to move forward instead of wasting energy trying to change the past.
Tip #8: Get in tune
Become sensitive to what your children desire from you at any given moment. This might include assurance, support, guidance or safety.
Tip #9: Choose How To Act
Be proactive and act in accordance with chosen values and principles versus reacting based on past history, current circumstances or emotions.
Tip #10: This Too Shall Pass!
Remember that these situations are never permanent. Stay in the moment. Be here now.
Becoming a more mindful parent is not easy; it takes work.
Like exercise for the body, we must make a conscious choice to practice mindfulness daily. This in itself is being more mindful, so congratulate yourself. Actually, reading this article is also an example of making the effort towards living and parenting mindfully. Not only will we feel more peace, joy and relief, we will lead by example and our children will model their behavior accordingly.
Our relationships will grow stronger and ultimately, our world will shift and become more a more compatible place to live in.