What’s different about parenting mindfully?
Many parents think being mindful is defined by the use of deep breathing or meditation in order to calm down.
While that absolutely does work, being mindful has broader applications, especially in parenting. Here are 4 keys truths that help make mindful parenting work.
#1 Taking deep breaths does calm a child, but doesn’t teach him/her what to do instead. Meditating centers a person, and I’m a fan, but it doesn’t stop the rapid avalanche of emotions that cause daily reactions in 1.2 seconds. Mindful parenting uses connected silence, which allows time for a parent to reset him/her self, in order to proceed calmly.
#2 Using a reactive authority can cause kids to become emotionally overloaded and conflicted, making it very difficult for them to follow instructions, listen, or cooperate. When you’re mindful, without sacrificing your authority, children feel heard and are able to listen.
#3 Correcting behavior mindfully addresses all the needs a child has when faced with learning from mistakes and behavior. Children need to feel heard, need boundaries in order to feel safe, need to learn from the experience of resolving things, and most of all they need to feel loved. Parenting mindfully embraces all those needs.
#4 Your child will get older. Take a moment and close your eyes, and think about what your child will look like in 10 years. Your kids are little now, and are having first time experiences every single day. Parenting mindfully embraces a “big picture” perspective so you’re reminded that how you handle behavior today impacts feelings, relationships, and behavior tomorrow.
When parenting mindfully you’re present, supportive, empathetic, clear and firm as you address behavior, without trying to stop the outcome of a situation or make it different.
Now go hug your kids!