Mindful Parenting: An Art of Living - dummies

Mindful Parenting: An Art of Living

By Shamash Alidina, Joelle Jane Marshall

Parenting can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. Watching your child grow and nurturing them with the best you can offer can be deeply satisfying. But raising children certainly isn’t easy. You may be nervous about what to expect and find yourself worrying all the time. You may be confused by the wide range of recommendations for ways to bring up your children.

The constant busyness of dealing with school, meals, poor behavior and activities as well as the rest of your life may feel overwhelming.

Feeling stressed with the challenges of family life is to be expected, at least from time to time. You soon discover that you need to offer love, but also much more. You have to build up your skills at juggling the demands so that you feel a little more in control instead of being dragged along by the challenges you face.

The concept of mindful parenting can help you immensely. Mindful parenting is about caring for yourself as well as your children: taking time to nourish yourself with mindfulness meditations when you can, having at least a little bit of quiet time every day and developing realistic expectations rather than stringent demands on yourself. Following are some tips for taking care of yourself.

  • Make some time each week to do an activity you enjoy in a mindful way.

  • Manage your time. Make some time for yourself, for your family, for your partner and for your friends. And remember to say ‘no’ to people who want to take this time away from you.

  • Practice a mindful physical activity, such as swimming, walking, running or even housework, at least a few times a week. Do so with mindful awareness instead of rushing through the process.

  • Eat as healthily as you can and in a mindful way. In other words, give your meal your full attention and gratitude and notice when you’re eating to soothe your emotions rather than satisfy your hunger. But remember to be kind and not berate yourself when you do eat to avoid your difficult emotions. Nothing’s wrong with giving yourself a little treat every now and then.

  • Have some daily quiet time for reflection, meditation and rest. Even a few minutes are valuable.

Mindful parenting is also about developing your relationship with your partner if you have one, as well as with your children.