Mindfulness is one of those words that seems to be everywhere these days. It truly is a powerful word, that I hope doesn’t lose its meaning because of it’s current notoriety. But what about mindful parenting?
Mindfulness is the art of being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. I call it an art, because it truly does take training in order to master it. It also means that you take each moment in, without judging your feelings or your thoughts, and understand that you can learn from and enjoy each second of the present.
I came about the concept of mindfulness years ago. As adults, we know how difficult it is to be mindful. Between our electronics, our busy schedules, and our desire to please, being “present” and “engaged” isn’t all that easy.
When I first decided I wanted to practice being mindful, I learned one of the most powerful tools was meditation. I meditate because I truly believe it strengthens my body and soul. I also know that it helps me stay present throughout the day. However, I believe the root of true mindfulness is the desire to live each second of my life knowing it is a precious gift.
So I try to practice mindful parenting and be present in all that I do. I notice how my words and actions affect others. I try not to judge, and be kind. If I get upset, I accept those feelings and know I can release them whenever I am ready. After all, it is I who controls my emotions and what causes them. And most especially, I am continuously grateful throughout my day… even at the smallest things.
As a mom, this “art” has become even more important to me. With two boys, staying present is pretty difficult, but it is important that these skills are also passed on to them.
Even though they are very young, I try to teach through example. We do 5 minute breathing exercises together. We go for walks and really take in nature. Whenever they are upset, sad, angry, or happy, I let them recognize their emotions and ask them how they feel.
I have learned to put down my phone, tablet, and other gadgets and soak in every second I am with them. This enriches me in ways I cannot express. I truly believe that mindful parents make mindful children. Give it a try! You might even notice that some of your most beautiful mindful moments come from just watching them in their natural state, being present.