My parenting style has evolved over the years. Growth, maturity and self-awareness have made me a better person, and ultimately a better mom. Motherhood is not easy—we can easily get overwhelmed with the daily responsibilities of life. It can be challenging to remain mindful and in the present moment when our daily routines have us in a constant spin.
Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of our thoughts, actions and emotions. It is the essential human ability to be present. Here are 5 powerful mindful parenting tips.
Model the right behaviour
At the risk of repeating myself—children would rather copy what we do that listen to what we say. We need to model the kind of behaviour we want to see in our kids. If you are rude to a waiter in front of your kids, don’t be surprised when they copy your behaviour. If you pull a zap sign at a driver that cuts you off in traffic, remember that a little person is watching you in the back seat. Be mindful of how you react, especially in tense situations.
Be mindful of your triggers
This is a big one. In my ideal world, we should all work on our inner selves before we bring kids into this world. But that’s not always possible. Most of us, including myself, are still walking around with childhood scars that haven’t healed. And those scars have the potential to affect the way we parent.
We all have buttons that, when pushed, bring about the most unpleasant reactions or emotions. Whenever you react that way, ask yourself why? That is the best way to stay on top of your triggers. By being mindful of our triggers, we can get to know ourselves better and break unhealthy patterns.
Treat your children as your equals
I’ve been reading the New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. To say the book has changed my life would be a gross understatement. The New Earth introduces some powerful and life-changing concepts. The book is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life.
According to Eckhart, we should treat our kids as equals. That statement hit me so hard—I had to read it a couple of times. And it makes sense. If we treated our kids as equals, we would treat them with respect. We wouldn’t spank, yell or constantly dismiss their feelings and needs.
When I brought up this idea to a friend of mine, she responded by saying that she can’t treat someone that doesn’t contribute towards the household income as an equal. I guess I wasn’t surprised by her reaction. Here’s the thing, yes our kids need our guidance, but they deserve to be treated with respect.
Apologise when you mess up
We’re imperfect beings trying to raise perfect children, which is impossible because our children will never be perfect. We have our off days, and that’s okay. If we behave in a less ideal way, we must address the issue. That teaches our kids that we are human, and we make mistakes. And when we make mistakes, we apologise.
Find a way to release your stress
We lead highly stressful lifestyles, and we must find ways to release that stress. I meditate and work out every morning—that is how I maintain my sanity. Meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress, and it increases focus and awareness.
Find something that works for you and prioritise it. Both you and your kids deserve it.
Practicing mindfulness is not easy, but it is most certainly worth it. Do you have any mindful parenting tips? Share in the comments below.
Photography by Elsie B Photography