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Everything You Need to Know About Mindful Parenting

Mindful Parenting

Are you a parent with little kids at home? Or maybe just a guardian with kids under your care? If it’s getting a bit out of control and you feel you need extra guidance with parenting or guarding the kids, you’re not alone.

But due to busy schedules, waking up early in the mornings, babysitting, and waiting in line to pick up the kids, let’s be sincere — one would have no or little time and energy left to read parenting advice on parenting books.

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Simultaneously, mindfulness is all the rage, and certain parents have incorporated it into their parenting philosophy, hence adopted mindful parenting.

This helpful approach, that is mindful parenting, may not be such a terrible idea, after all, so we’ll give you a quick rundown on mindful parenting and why it might be worth a try.

Mindful parenting may help you breathe more deeply the next time you’re faced with a scenario that’s beyond stressful.

What mindful parenting means?

Mindfulness, on its own, is a way of living in the present moment. It entails being mindful of where you are in the universe and your internal and external thoughts and feelings.

Furthermore, mindfulness entails seeing the environment — your world — with less judgment and more acceptance. Buddhist meditation is based on the concept of bringing consciousness to the present moment, and it has been studied and practiced for many centuries.

Since 1997, the concept of mindful parenting has been around.

In essence, mindful parenting applies mindfulness concepts to a variety of circumstances in your family that may sound a little wild at times.

The aim of mindful parenting is to respond thoughtfully rather than reacting to your child’s behaviors or acts. You work hard to make sure that your child and, by extension, yourself are accepted. Nurturing your relationship in this way will help deepen your bond while also providing other advantages.

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This isn’t to say that being a thoughtful parent always entails being upbeat.

It is worthy of note that: mindful parenting isn’t always going to be sunshine and smiles, with kids eating everything you put in front of them without complaint.

Instead, it’s about being fully present at the moment and not allowing past or potential feelings or trauma to color your perception or, more importantly, your reaction. You will always react with rage or anger, but it will come from a more educated position than a reflexive one.

Critical factors of mindful parenting

The whole concept of Mindful Parenting focuses on three primary qualities or factors.

  • Mindful parenting focuses on awareness and attentiveness to immediate happenings
  • Mindful parenting necessitates being intentional and understanding of behavior
  • In practicing mindful parenting, one must have a non-judgmental attitude, being compassionate and accepting in response

These seem all good, but what does it mean?

The definition of mindful parenting is to be present, at the moment, with your children. The greatest gift you can offer your children is your love and attention, and mindful parenting is one way to help you do that.

Children, especially small children, live in the moment very naturally.

They have little or no regard for the past and almost no regard for the future. They are, in reality, completely mindful, even though they aren’t aware of it. Pressure, discomfort, pleasure, and hunger are all acute sensations.

As parents, however, we have moved on from that world. We’re all guilty of dwelling on the future, whether it’s near or far away. We plan what we will cook, buy, eat, wear, and do when we need to leave the house when we return. We tell ourselves that we need to do this to manage, which may well be true.

At the same time, though, it means that our attention is not with our children at the moment.

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It can be very hard to stop and give your full and mindful attention to your children. There is always something else to do.

To practice mindful parenting, you don’t need to change your entire lifestyle. You have to:

  • Open your eyes, both literally and metaphorically. Pay attention to your surroundings and how you feel on the inside and out. Touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste are all ways to take in information.
  • Be present at the moment. Avoid dwelling on the past or obsessively preparing for the future. Look for the positive about what’s going on right now, right in front of your eyes. By doing so, mindful parenting is being practiced.
  • Acceptance should be practiced. Even if your child’s thoughts and behavior frustrate you, try to embrace them. (And accept yourself with this acceptance.). Mindful parenting would help you do this.
  • Take a deep breath. Are you in the midst of a crisis? Concentrate on your breathing. Inhale deeply, filling your lungs with air while focusing your attention on your breath. Feel your breath enter and leave your body as you exhale. Encourage your child to take deep breaths through difficult times as well.
  • Consider meditating. A major part of meditation is focusing on the breath. To better communicate with yourself, you need to set aside a few minutes per day. This is necessary in practicing mindful parenting. Free mindfulness exercises can be found on YouTube.

Breaking it down further, the concept of mindful parenting involves some skills, which would help you in achieving the benefits of this style of parenting. These skills include:

  • Attentiveness and Listening: This entails paying full attention to what you’re doing and seeing. Mindful parenting will necessitate a great deal of patience and practice. Listening also includes the climate. Take in all that surrounds you and your child — the sights, smells, and sounds.
  • Being non-judgemental and accepting things the way it is: It means handling the situation without passing judgment on your or your child’s emotions. Mindful parenting helps you to understand that ‘What is, is what is’. Nonjudgment also entails letting go of your child’s unreasonable standards. And, at the end of the day, acknowledgment of “what is” is the aim.
  • Emotional intelligence: From the parent to the infant and back, bringing knowledge to parenting relationships is a two-way street. You are teaching your child to be emotionally conscious starts with you modeling it. Emotions are still present in the circumstances, whether they have been formed for a long time or are more recent.
  • Self-discipline: This means resisting the urge to scream or engage in other automatic activities as a result of your emotions. In a nutshell, it’s about thought before behaving in order to stop overreacting.
  • Compassion: You may not agree with your child’s decisions or feelings, but mindful parenting inspires compassion in parents. This entails being sympathetic and mindful of the child’s current situation. Compassion often applies to the parent, as there is less self-blame if a scenario does not work out as planned.

So, how does mindful parenting actually work? Please take a look at these examples of how it can affect how you handle parenting issues.

Baby refusing to sleep?

If you are practicing mindful parenting, you should take a few deep breaths. You might find your mind going back to all the previous nights when your child refused to sleep.

You may be concerned that they will never sleep again or that you will never have adult time. It’s possible that your feelings could snowball. But, once again, take a deep breath. You’re a part of it. You’ve even got this.

Take a moment to consider your feelings, which are all-natural. Are you angry or frustrated? Recognize this without passing judgment on yourself.

Remind yourself that many babies have trouble sleeping through the night and that this night does not necessarily mean every night for the rest of their lives.

Your toddler throwing tantrums at the supermarket?

Mindful parenting necessitates that you take a few steps back and take a look around. Be in the moment, even though their behavior is humiliating or causes some negative emotions.

If you look around, you’ll notice that there are many temptations for your child at the supermarket, in addition to the strangers whose stares might be stressing you out (ignore them!).

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Maybe they’re looking for a specific toy or candy. Perhaps they’re tired from a day of shopping or haven’t taken a nap in a while.

Mindful parenting suggests that you try to observe the source of the problem before taking your child and storming out of the shop. Accept that when there are treats involved, or they are overtired, children will lose control.

Accept that they’re probably going through some major emotions of their own. 

Won’t your kids eat?

Breastmilk or formula is gulped down by newborns like it’s going out of style. But, sometimes — and this happens to everyone — your child will refuse to eat the delicious home-cooked meal you prepared. And you’ll be tempted to take it personally and respond as a result.

Just breathe, and remind yourself that you are a good cook, and think about how your child is feeling. Perhaps they’re apprehensive about a new flavor or texture.

Perhaps they recall a time when food of a certain color made them ill and have come to equate all foods of that color with sickness. Isn’t that ridiculous? To a new eater, no.

Mindful parenting advices that you have a chat with them about how they’re feeling and why they need to eat after you’ve put yourself in their shoes and thought about the situation sympathetically.

Set up a routine where they can make food choices (between healthier options and cake, because, let’s face it, who wouldn’t choose cake over spinach?) and show them how to try new things by eating mindfully rather than responding without thought.

Conclusion

Take a breather the next time you’re in a parental situation that makes you feel like you’re about to lose it. Inhale deeply, then exhale fully.

Take time to reflect on your emotions, your surroundings, and your child’s experience. Then, without straying into past or future emotions, work for acceptance in the present moment. This is what mindful parenting is all about.

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In trying to practice mindful parenting, you may not be able to be blissfully mindful the first few times you try this new parenting strategy. It’s also fine to be cynical. However, you can find that pausing before responding relieves your stress and has a positive effect on your child after some time.

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The first clue that I was going to be a writer had to be when I was about 12. I had my mom buy a special notebook for me where I wrote down every family scandal, secret, stories, and gossip. Even at 12, I understood the importance of research, so I will eavesdrop on every adult conversation to get info for my Notebook. Now, I am no longer 12 but still very much interested in storytelling and curating content for blogs and websites. I love reading, researching, experimental photography, and listening to music when I am not writing about Pets, Parenting, Mortgages, or Home Decor/Improvements.