Raising children is no easy feat.
Sure, they fill your world with love and transform your life far beyond what you may imagine. But it is also okay to admit that you can sometimes feel a little out of your league with your kids.
You are not alone!
However, when you start to feel frustrated, this is where you can also lose control of your reactions. Perhaps you raise your voice or don’t not have enough patience. This is when the mom guilt can creep in. Ugg.
However, taking back control is easier than you think and mindful parenting can be a great way to move forward.
What does mindful parenting mean?
As it stands, mindfulness is all about living in the moment. It focuses much of your attention on where you are right now, and what you can see, smell, and feel. Mindful parenting, in turn, takes this mindfulness approach and fuses it into how you talk and interact with your children.
Mindful parenting means you apply living in the present moment to your everyday parenting – meaning you use these techniques when listening to your children, taking stock of the everyday moments, and slowing things down. And we know this can be hard if you are used to a different pace in life.
Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Family Life
So what can you do to implement mindful parenting into your daily life and make some positive changes?
There are things that you start at any time that will help you to feel more in control of situations. Here are some things to try:
You may think you already listen to your kids and other family members but do you? How often are you distracted by your surroundings, perhaps only taking in the things you are being told? This is completely normal as life can be chaotic. Listening means that you are truly there in the moment – taking in what others are saying. It means you acknowledge your feelings. Listening also extends to the environment that you are in, and it can diffuse a situation if you start listening to the sounds you can hear around you, and notice the sights, sounds and smells.
Communicate more effectively
When you listen, you will take in much more of the conversation, and this means you’ll be more apt to consider your answer and the way you respond. When you have a clear mind, you’re able to be present and think much more clearly. This can be invaluable when discussing difficult topics.
Mindfulness can also be about your breathing and using breathing techniques can calm a situation down. This can work especially well with children. Teaching kids breathing exercises to help them cope with stress and heightened emotions are great tools for life. The first example would be to advise them to count to 10. This helps to avoid an instant reaction. Taking deep breaths can also help calm anxiety. It works for children and parents as well. And, you can practice these breathing exercises if you are finding yourself struggling to cope with a particular scenario.
Be less judgmental
This is all about approaching situations without any judgment. This also means having no judgment on your actions or your child’s feelings, as well as not having any pre-judged thoughts about how you might react. This helps you start out on a neutral playing field. This will also help you to let go of any preconceived or unrealistic expectations that you may have developed when it comes to your children.
You might not always agree with what your child is saying, or their actions in a certain situation, but showing compassion regardless of how you feel is important. It means that you are empathetic to your children’s feelings and actions at that moment. You can also have compassion for how you feel and react to situations at hand. So, remember to give yourself a break!
There will always be emotions attached to situations that you will find yourself in with your children. Leading by example can help you and your children to be more aware of your emotions at that time.
Get the whole family involved in mindful meditation!
It is all well and good having the intention to incorporate mindful parenting into your daily life. But, it is also a good idea to get the whole family involved. So why not try some of these ideas to help you get started:
Meditation can be a great way to get the whole family involved. Whether you choose to meditate collectively as a family or practice individually, meditation can be a great way to be more mindful. It gives you a chance to focus on your breathing and be more aware of your surroundings. And, these are exactly the habits you want to make part of your daily parenting style!
Create an area to encourage mindfulness
Another thing to consider would be to create an area where you can encourage mindfulness. Having an area in your child’s bedroom could help them to go there when they need some quiet time. It could be just a seat in a bedroom or having a space in your home that you dedicate for quiet time. These small things can have a big impact on your family and lifestyle.
Introduce Mindfulness Activities for Kids
If you want to make mindfulness a fun family activity, try introducing some mindfulness activities for kids. You can find loads of ideas online, or check out these cool ideas and printables from the Pretzel Kids Etsy store!
Some popular and affordable printable activities to try include: Digital printable Mindfulness Activities for Kids set; the Mindful 3-Jar Activity Pack for Kids; and Needs and Wants Mindfulness Activity Printable.
For Back to School 2021: Make Mindful Parenting Habits Part of Your Daily Routine
Remember: You can start mindful parenting habits at ANY time. So, why not make some changes NOW, and incorporate them into your daily routine?
You just need to make the effort to be more conscious of your surroundings and how you react. The rest will fall into place. Are you ready to give mindful parenting it a go? You’ve got this!