How I Learned To Be A More Mindful Parent By Lauren Knight
Being a good parent is hard! Parenting requires skills and sacrifice.
Did you know that how you feel emotionally most of the time has an effect on how you raise your child?
Read the story of how two different people raise their children differently and how being more mindful can actually help your children appreciate you more.
I spotted her at the playground: a young mother sitting on the edge of the retaining wall, completely engrossed in her iPhone while her baby crawled nearby on the soft surface. She occasionally looked up to see where the baby had gone, but the majority of her time and attention was devoted to the iPhone. As my boys played independently nearby, I glanced back just in time to see another parent run over and grab the baby just before he toppled over the edge of the wall a few feet away from his mom, who was completely unaware of his perilous position. The mom thanked the parent who had grabbed her son, then positioned the baby closer to her and went back to her iPhone.
On a different day at the same playground, I watched as a cheerfully engaged father chased his little boy around, then held back and watched from the sidelines, seeming to genuinely enjoy the moments unfolding before him. He and his child were completely connected in those moments, and it made me think long and hard about mindfulness in this difficult job of parenting.
The topic of mindfulness is everywhere these days: how to raise a more mindful child; how to be a more mindful parent; the benefits of mindfulness on the brain and on emotional growth. But mindfulness is more than a trend or another way for parents to compete — it is an invaluable tool that affects the way we feel, the way we perceive, and the connections we make with our children. In its most basic form, mindful parenting means bringing our thoughts and attention to the present moment and being open and non-judgmental toward those moments. There is a sense of calm that comes with being in the moment instead of constantly thinking ahead to what’s coming next or what’s going on elsewhere.