Parenting with Presence: How to be Mindful for a Happier Family
"The more we are present, the more we can learn to appreciate the beauty in life and in our children." - Susan Stiffelman
Parenting is one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences in life. It takes a lot of patience, understanding, and love. As a mindful parent, it's important to be present at the moment and pay attention to your child's needs with compassion and empathy. As a parent of two, I understand how difficult it can be to manage daily parenting duties while staying mindful. That's why I often check in with my son to see if I'm doing a good job and if there's anything I can do better. It's important to keep learning and evolving as a parent.
Here are some of my must-do's for mindful parenting:
Taking care of yourself is essential to being a good parent. I make an effort to give myself time for self-care every day, like doing things I love or going for a walk. It's made a big difference in my mood and focus, and I've found that being present feels great.
Put away distractions like your phone or the TV and give your child your undivided attention. It can be challenging, but it's worth it. I compromise by not looking at my phone during mealtime or playtime with the kids.
Seeing things from your child's perspective and responding with empathy is important. I use the red-orange-green light method to help me pause, reflect, and respond calmly.
Practice positive discipline:
Instead of punishment, focus on positive discipline strategies that teach your child how to make better choices. I let my son know that his feelings are valid and try to teach him actions and consequences.
Allowing your child to make their own choices and take responsibility for their actions helps them develop confidence and independence. I encourage my son to set SMART goals and involve him in age-appropriate decision-making.
Expressing gratitude for your child and the joy they bring to your life helps you focus on the positive aspects of parenting and strengthens your bond with your child. My son and I have a bedtime routine that includes reflecting on our day and sharing what we're grateful for.
Being a mindful parent takes practice and patience, and it's okay to make mistakes. We're all human with our own complexities, but by following these tips and continuously learning, we can create a nurturing and supportive environment for our children to thrive in. Remember, we're doing a great job, and our kids appreciate us.