Best Tips for Mindful Parenting
Parenting may be one of the hardest, most challenging life skills to acquire as an adult. It involves a whole lot of multitasking which is something a lot of people pride themselves on. But the problem with multitasking is that instead of learning to do lots of things at once well, we simply learn to do lots of things at once, not nearly as well as we could. Multitasking between work, caring for your kids can often be distracting and stressful, which is why doing many things at once is not in the spirit of mindfulness. We can still get multiple things done while being efficient but also approach things differently and with a more mindful approach.
Mindful parenting simply means paying conscious attention to what’s happening instead of being overwhelmed by your emotions and responsibilities. Juggling multiple responsibilities can rather be a stressful affair and our brain often gets wired under pressure. So how do we overcome these emotions and be more present with our kids? Here are a few tips for mindful parenting:
1. Unplug technology: While this is a great rule for kids, to ensure they have a daily routine and do not engage in too much screen time, it is also essential for us adults to unplug from the digital space once in a while. This gives us more time to spend with our kids and engage in activities with them as a family. Lead by example and take technology breaks yourself and your kids will follow after.
2. Be present with your kids: In your daily routine, schedule some time in the day where you can give your kids your undivided attention and spend some quality time with them as a family. This leads to more engaging conversations and strengthens your relationship with your kids.
3. Have a dedicated space for meditation: While parenting is all about spending time with your kids, take some time off for you during the day to meditate. Meditation helps calm your nerves. Dedicate a space in your house for some peace and quiet.
4. Be flexible with your kids: Having a daily routine for your kids is a great practice but it is also advisable to let loose once in a while. Reward your kids with a late night movie if they have been responsible the entire day. Rewarding your kids for good behaviour will encourage them to be more responsible and keen to do their tasks.
5. Practice gratitude: Focus all your energies into the good things in life. Express gratitude to feel powerful and compassionate. Modelling that for your children is a gift that they will benefit from for a lifetime. An example of how to practice gratitude is to establish a routine at dinnertime where everyone gives one example of something that went well for them during that day.
6. Teach kids about resilience: Teach your kids about setbacks and how obstacles in life can be overcome with the right determination. We all learn from our mistakes and teaching kids that learning is all about practice, will help them make meaning from their experiences.
7. Don’t make quick judgments: It is rather easy to make judgments and generalizations about life, but as a parent it is important to take a step back and appreciate every moment as it comes.
8. See the world through your child’s eyes: Children appreciate all the small things in life. They start off with a clean slate and appreciate all the little beautiful things that come their way. Learn to match your kid’s excitement and enjoy the experience through their eyes. This will help you appreciate the simple pleasures in life.
9. Self care: Parents tend to get too busy balancing so many tasks in your day to day lives that we often get overwhelmed and forget to take care of ourselves. Most of us feel guilty when we try to take some time off and away from our kids. Things that we enjoyed before being parents are tough to get back. However, letting go of that guilt will help you become a healthier and happier parent.
Being a mindful parent seems like a tough task, given the everyday stress of maintaining a family. Being more present will help you experience more calm, clarity, and a renewed sense of perspective, which in turn, makes room for increased compassion and empathy.
Mindful parenting will definitely have a positive impact on your kids too and is worth the effort. Being a mindful parent, doesn’t mean that tough days won’t show up. On tough days, take a step back and don’t let it overwhelm you. Taking a few mindful breaths to re-centre yourself can make a huge difference.
These tips for mindful parenting will allow you to connect with your kids on a deeper level and build emotionally rich relationships with them. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to spend more time with our kids and we must take advantage of it by indulging in a lot of learning and also un-learning. Learning never stops for kids and even for us adults. Mindful parenting creates an opportunity to be more responsive and be more productive. Mindful parenting is a powerful tool which will help parents get through the day, task by task, while also being present with their kids.