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Life With Bobux

Mindful parenting

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Mindful parenting

I was initially skeptical about mindful parenting and the only advocate I knew was my pal Amber who is instinctively the perfect parent - thoughtful, listens carefully and never raises her voice. A striking contrast to my own shouting-when-I’m-under-pressure style of parenting. But shouting doesn’t work particularly as Luci now shouts back so I knew I needed outside help. I enrolled in a course at a local community centre, the session filled with mums all with the same goal – how to be better parents.

 

The arguments for mindfulness are compelling. Children who experience mindfulness are more resilient, less likely to have depression or anxiety, be more empathetic and more effective communicators. The premise for mindful parenting is simple – having a calmer mindset will have a flow-on effect to everything you do including how you parent.

 

Getting into a state of calm

At the course we practiced getting into a state of calm which turned out to be easier than it sounds. Simply by dropping your shoulders, breathing deeply, focusing on what you can hear, feel and smell quickly gets you into a more mindful state. The more time you spend in this state the easier and more natural it becomes. It took some practice but I’m now in the habit of doing it during my morning shower or when I’m pushing Luci home in the buggy at the end of a working day. I found I deal with difficult situations much better when I’ve spent even just a few minutes earlier in the day getting into a state of calm.

 

relaxed calm woman breathing at home

Being present

Forget about multi-tasking, mindful parenting requires you to focus fully on the task at hand. Luci likes me to take on the persona of one of her toys on our daily commute. When I devote myself to this fully rather than keeping one eye on my phone we both enjoy it more and our creative juices flow as we come up with new plotlines for Dragon and Unicorn Lion.

 

mother and son playing indoors

 

Allowing time for emotion

A key principle for mindful parenting is acknowledging all emotions both good and bad as this allows your child to process and work through them. Naming the emotion and acknowledging it can help your child work through it faster than ignoring it or trying to cajole them out of it.

 

One morning Luci wanted to wear a particular costume to daycare and began to erupt after discovering it was in the wash. I said, ‘I know it’s disappointing when you can’t wear your costume’. Simply naming the emotion can be surprisingly effective but this morning it wasn’t working and she needed more help. ‘Is there something else you can wear instead?,’ I suggested. She paused, ‘I could wear my rabbit ears,’ came the reply and she ran off to get them. I had forgotten about the rabbit ears but using this mindful parenting technique enabled her to find her own solution.

 

Getting started

Mindful parenting hasn’t resolved all of my parenting woes but it’s certainly added some powerful tools to my parenting toolbox. Do a course to really understand the techniques and help them ‘stick’ and ideally get your partner to do it too or at the very least explain to them what you are learning so you are parenting in tandem. There’s also lots of great resources online to get you started. 

 

Guest blog from Trina Saffioti