What is Mindful Parenting?
Mindful parenting means bringing our awareness to what’s going on around us and managing our behavior accordingly, instead of our emotions taking control and negatively affecting our behavior in difficult moments. Of course, sometimes we can feel angry, sad or overwhelmed. However, being able to manage the moment of stress with awareness is important for our relationship with our child as a parent.
Our approach as parents in moments of stress is actually very relevant to how we manage our own emotions and reactions in these situations. In order to help our child, regulate his emotions in stressful situations, we must first regulate our own behavior. If we can maintain our calmness in stressful moments and observe the situation with awareness before showing a reaction, we can support our child to stay calm and observe his behaviors with awareness in such moments.
Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment and what is going on without judging, and by leaving aside negative thoughts and anxieties about the past or the future. Mindful parenting also enables parents to focus on the moment by noticing the stress, sadness, and pain they experience, to increase their communication with their children without judging the situations they experience, and to handle their reactions in high stress moments with this mindful approach.
Sometimes it can be difficult to say no to your child and to express the behaviors that upset and anger us. However, a mindful approach offers parents an alternative to understanding and regulating our children’s behavior while responding to their needs, behaviors, and wishes. Mindful parenting does not mean being a perfect parent, but it is an ever-changing and evolving process.
Benefits of Mindful Parenting
Mindful parenting system has been implemented effectively in Europe and the world in recent years and this system has many benefits. In the mindful parenting process,
- You can regulate your behavior by noticing your feelings and thoughts.
- You can develop your capacity to stay in the moment you live.
- You can better regulate your own emotions
- You can develop the ability to recognize and accept unpleasant situations as they are.
- You can become more sensitive to your child’s unique needs, feelings, and thoughts.
- You can better manage moments of crisis
- You can adopt a less critical attitude towards yourself and your child
- You can develop your relationship with your child
Key Factors in Mindful Parenting
Notice your feelings and thoughts
In parenting interaction, awareness of feelings and thoughts extends reciprocally from parent to child and from child to parent. This emotional awareness and awareness of our thoughts sets an example for our child to gain awareness skills in the same way. Observe your emotions and give yourself time before making a decision or taking action. When you are angry, overwhelmed, or stressed, calm your mind, and observe yourself with awareness before reacting.
Listen to your child
Our children’s behaviors and wishes may not always align with ours. Because as adults and children, our perspective on events creates different demands and expectations. In all situations, it is important to try to listen to your child by paying attention to the moment, to see things from his/her point of view and to understand your child. It may be difficult or take time to implement this, but like everything else, this is a process that evolves over time.
Try to be compassionate
Mindful parenting encourages us to be compassionate and involves approaching our child’s current circumstances and situation with empathy and understanding. This compassion extends to ourselves, teaching us to accept and embrace when we make a mistake or when a situation turns out unexpectedly.
You can try mindfulness practices specially prepared for you at Innerjoy to understand the other person and stay calm in difficult moments, to manage your relations with your family with awareness, and sometimes to relax when you are alone with yourself in all this intensity.