Mindful parenting

You are physically, mentally and emotionally drained out for some reason. All you want is to sit alone and chill out watching Netflix. But your child wants your attention and even throws a tantrum. Your first reaction is to probably yell at your child for not understanding you and then feel guilty about being a bad parent.

Sounds familiar?

Parenting has always been a demanding job but it has become more stressful in modern times. Today’s parents are advised to be gentler and more empathetic than authoritative in their approach. It is easier said than done but not impossible either.

Mindful parenting can help you do this.

Mindful parenting refers to listening and responding to your child by being more present in the moment. You have to pay attention to the now instead of wandering into the past or future.

Mindful parenting follows these principles:

  • Be non-judgemental towards your child.
  • Exercise patience and compassion with your child.
  • Keep an open mind when interacting with your child.
  • Be aware of your and your child’s emotions.
  • Trust yourself and your child.
  • Accept the feelings that you and your child are experiencing.
  • Let go of assumptions and impulses.
  • Respond instead of reacting.

Benefits of Mindful Parenting

Mindful parenting is good for you and your child in various ways:

  1. Creates a Safe Environment for Child

Children should feel safe and secure around their parents. However, if they get to see only angry or frustrated parents all the time, it will adversely impact their emotional health. When you are being mindful about what you say or do, children will get a positive environment to thrive.

  1. Puts You in Control of the Situation and Emotions

When you react without giving any thought to your child’s actions or words, it takes away your control of the situation and emotions. However, when you pause for a few minutes to notice your and your child’s feelings, you can handle things in a better way. You will then respond mindfully instead of reacting mindlessly.

  1. Lowers the Parenting Stress

When you stay in the present moment and look at the parenting situation non-judgementally, you will see things from a new perspective. It will shift your vibration from coldness and rejection to affection and acceptance. Your stress levels will go down considerably and you will be in a better mind frame as a parent.

  1. Helps Children Self-Regulate Their Emotions

When your children see you acknowledge and manage your negative emotions positively, it models a positive coping mechanism for them. It makes them understand that it is better to release the negative emotions constructively than to store them in the body which could result in various physical ailments later in life.

  1. Improves Parenting Happiness Quotient

Parenting guilt is as real as it can get. While you want only the best for your child, you are a human being and do fail at parenting sometimes. Mindful parenting can set you free from the guilt trap and boost your parenting happiness quotient.

Mindful parenting comes with conscious practice. It will not make you a perfect parent (no parent is!) but it will definitely diffuse parenting stress and build a better relationship with your child.

About Sneha Malhotra

Sneha is a mother of a teen son, and formerly an HR consultant, who is currently considering getting to the back to the workforce. She occasionally writes on HR topics and also on parenting issues - she also hopes to have her own blog soon!

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