I mentioned last week that we’d be covering various “life hacks” this month in the areas of parenting, organization, meal planning and memory keeping… True to my word, today we’re talking about mindfulness and it’s role in parenting.
Mindfulness is certainly a buzzword that gets tossed around quite a bit these days (it’s even part of our own tagline – mindful living, effortless style). But what, exactly does it mean?
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction), it’s about paying attention to the present, on purpose, without judgment.
To apply it to parenting, you focus on being fully aware and in the moment with your kids in a non-judgmental and presumably calm manner.
Of course if you’ve been a parent for literally any amount of time at all, you know that is much, much easier said than done. Kids can be – in a word – unnerving.
They seem to be in a constant state of moving, challenging, questioning, bouncing, tantruming, etc., etc. All that frenetic energy can make approaching your time with them “without judgement” a bit taxing… Throw in all the stuff us busy parents have to do along with the actual parenting (cooking, cleaning, shopping, shuttling kids around, making appointments, etc., etc.) and the “paying attention to the present” part is no walk in the woods either.
Nevertheless, we’ve all heard it enough by now to know it’s important. So what’s a modern parent to do??? Get yourself a mantra and put it to work for you.
If you’re wondering how to do that (or just what a matra is), I’m over at eHow’s Mom Channel with more on the subject and my 4 current favorite mantras for making it through the day. Here’s a sample…
#2 – “Pause, reflect, respond.” So much of parenting is reaction. This is a gentle reminder to take a moment to examine your own emotions, as well as the circumstances behind a situation, before engaging with your kids. READ MORE HERE
We’ll be back on Monday with a few more of my favorite tools for being a more mindful parent. Until then, try these out over the weekend and let us know how you do.
And if you’re looking for a great read on positive parenting that won’t take much time so you get the year started right, I HIGHLY recommend
Written by Amanda Morgan who is basically my parenting guru – she’s incredibly smart but also super down-to-earth and relatable.
This is the book that has most impacted my parenting over the years. It’s jam-packed with usable info. on how to start using positive parenting with your kids the minute you start reading it and my go-to reference guide whenever we’re struggling with discipline issues.
I just love her approach to parenting and I really think you will too.
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