7 Tips to practice mindfulness as a parent
7 Tips to practice mindfulness as a parent
Mindfulness is mandatory to be a successful parent.
In fact, it’s not only important for a thriving relationship with children, but it also is a mandatory mindset if you want thriving relations with all your family and friends.
After all, it is the reason behind the relationship glue or empathy.
You understand its importance. What you can’t understand is the process of transition from your current lifestyle of auto-pilot mode to the desired mode of mindfulness.
How on earth are you supposed to truly start living in the present moment and commit to it for all your life?
Well, it’s not as difficult as you think it is.
#1 Don’t Commit
Better words for this tip should be ‘don’t commit for a long-term’. Keep your focus on the short-term effort you have to put in your mindset.
If you think maintaining your presence for a day to come is easy, commit to remain mindful for a day.
If that’s too much, commit for a part of the day.
Think of a reward you will give yourself if you remain loyal to your commitment for that short duration.
If your brain reminds you how difficult will it be to remain mindful every single moment (don’t make it every single moment, by the way), tell it that you are only committing for the day (evening, week, or month?)
#2 Start with Meditation
Mindfulness meditation allows you to take control of your emotions. That’s the essential part which you cannot ignore if you really want to re-vamp your lifestyle.
By using this meditation, you will detect discouraging thoughts as soon as they creep into your mind and elimination of these thoughts will also become easier with it.
#3 Make Journaling Your Best Friend
We often remain indulged in mindless lifestyle because we give more credit to our past or future than our present.
Journaling helps us free our mental space by putting these thoughts and worries in other compartments (hard or soft journals).
Think of a journal as a Pensieve of Dumbledore or likes. When we use it, we unload excess luggage from our minds.
If a Pensieve is not enough, get help with a to-do list (to record future-related worries).
#4 Get Pets
Growing plants will have similar effects.
The point is you need to learn to take in happiness and gratitude from other living beings around you. Yes, you can learn to bring that energy from your kids. But taking moods from other humans is a two-way process.
If you are still learning to be a mindful parent, you probably are keeping the stresses and frustrations of adult life with you. You might end up transferring these lower moods to your children.
On the other hand, pets and plants are more capable of shaking these moods off them once you have elevated your moods or are no longer connected with them. In other words, these living beings are a little bit more resilient.
But you have to attend to them. Care for them. And focus on them.
It will be of no use to you if you continue to remain submerged in your mind and its games without lending your empathy to these creatures.
#5 Get into Your Child’s World
If yours is like most modern families, you and your kids must be talking very less with each other and a lot with the faces behind their screens.
If that situation sounds relatable, consider getting into the distant, far off world your child has created to hide from their needs of parental bonds. There is no need from going absent-mindedly listening to their whining while preparing dinner one day to asking them to make them your team for cooking the next day.
All you need to do is to start observing and appreciating their lives.
Watch them. How they talk!
What triggers them!
What makes them laugh!
What draws them apart from you!
Appreciate their emotions. Try to notice positive emotions and behaviors. If t’s difficult to note positive behaviors (because of your own emotional limitations or those of children) make a point of celebrating every smallest behavioral competence they show.
#6 Find a New, Common Hobby
Try something new.
I am an avid reader. But it’s difficult for me to read to my son.
What’s more difficult is to get him to read a book when he wants me to read it to him. The broken syllables and half-spoken words just drive me crazy.
Reading is a common habit for both of us. He is a learner in reading but a passionate learner nonetheless.
I am an experienced reader who can bear to read a text from word to word.
This difference in experience levels makes it hard for us to connect on reading.
Try something new. Learn to plant and grow trees (if you haven’t yet acquired that skill).
Create journals of leaves, clothes, flowers, and colors.
Learn something new. Learn with your child.
#7 Learn from Them
Set an intention and ask a life question from your child. Ask something common- something which is so common we don’t even give a thought to it.
Talking about gravity is a good starting point here.
Let them come up with theories. Feel the difference and uniqueness in their point of view.
Other than science and fiction, ask their opinion about social skills. Talk about a character in their favorite comic book.
‘Why does he do what he does?’
Ask them to justify this behavior.
These conversations, if listened to without judgment, will connect you with your inner child and allow you to shed the baggage you have acquired so far.
If you want to pursue mindful parenting as your new lifestyle, you need to learn to get out of your head and your perceived and meet your children in their world.
But to do so effectively, you need to learn the right method to understand your mind and its games. Meditation is the best first step.
Connecting with other living beings outside you and taking a sincere decision to get into your child’s world are the next steps.