In the throes of our busy lives, mindful parenting seems like an unattainable goal. But as the old saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

The demands of the modern world on today’s parents are overwhelming. We are inundated with information on how to do things the right way, or how we’re failing our children. We are judged based on our parenting styles, and frowned upon if it doesn’t fall into the authoritative category. Children are expected to behave better than adults, and work harder than ever for stellar academic achievements.

This article’s purpose is not to tell you how to parent, but to help you have a better time doing it. And in the process, help your child flourish, and acquire the skills needed to become a well-adjusted adult.

mindful parenting

The benefits of mindful parenting extend to both parents and children. Studies show that mindful parenting fosters healthy parent-child relationships. And it enhances parents’ and children’s ability to regulate their emotions. 

A recent study has linked mindful parenting to better decision-making in children, which is an essential 21st century skill. The reason children who were raised by mindful parents make better decisions is their emotional self-regulation ability. Yet another good reason to give mindful parenting a try.

So how do you embrace mindful parenting?

You stay present, and think ahead. Easy right? Not really, but it will be easier than you expect. Let me explain.

How do you stay present?

By reminding yourself to be present. We all lead busy lives, and in the midst of parenting chaos it’s easy to forget to live in the moment. Because who wants to live in chaos anyway? But this is life with kids. So instead of turning a chaotic moment into a power struggle, or self-pity and regret, turn it into a life lesson for your kids. 

When your children don’t listen after you’ve told them to brush their teeth 25 times, talk to them about natural consequences. Not brushing teeth leads to cavities, and cavities lead to other outcomes, and so on. While it may not make them brush their teeth willingly twice a day, it will certainly change the tone of the conversation. And make them more likely to cooperate. Plus, you’ve just modeled emotional self-regulation. Monkey see, monkey do!

How does thinking ahead help you stay present?

By seeing the adult in your child’s eyes. Everything we do and say to our children will shape the adults they become. When you parent mindfully, you consider the impact of your words and actions on your child’s development. Therefore, thinking ahead forces you to stay present. But that doesn’t mean you’re never allowed to mess up, because you will. 

There will be times when you’ll fail at being a mindful parent. In those moments, allow yourself time to calm down, forgive yourself and apologize to your child. Use these moments as yet another life lesson, and explain to your child that perfection is unattainable. And mistakes are learning opportunities.

Being a parent is the most conflicting job you can ever have. It is exhausting but energizing, difficult but beautiful. A natural instinct, yet an endless learning process. We constantly question our parenting ability, and never feel as though we are good enough at it. 

As parents, we rarely praise ourselves for the resilience required to just be a parent, let alone a good one. So take a moment to appreciate yourself, and commend your parenting efforts. 

If you’re reading this article, know you are indeed a good parent. You are dedicating your precious time to gathering information for the wellbeing of your child. One perfect example of a selfless act.

Have you ever tried mindful parenting? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

You might also like: Become A More Mindful Person: 5 Easy Steps

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