What is Mindful Parenting & How To Be One

To understand mindful parenting it’s good to start with understanding mindfulness. Mindfulness is to live in the moment, aware of what’s happening both inside and outside you. Being able to know your thoughts, emotions, wants and needs and accept them without judgment. In other words, mindfulness is about acknowledging, accepting, and not jumping to conclusions about yourself or others.

Mindful Parenting

This brings us to us as parents and mindful parenting. Mindful parenting builds on the same key features as mindfulness with awareness and acceptance and bringing this into our parenting role, especially when stressed, pushed, frustrated, or angry. Mindful parenting has nothing to do with children always behaving like saints, constant control, or never making the wrong choices as parents. Mistakes, not letting children have an equal say in all matters and children misbehaving, is part of parenthood, but a mindful parenting approach can help us be compassionate towards both our children and ourselves. It helps us stay calm in rough times, keep control and quicker and easier finding your way through it and accept any mistakes for what it is and not dwell on it along the way.

The mindful approach has proven beneficial for us as parents in several ways, such as less negative mood, less anxiety, and overall better well-being. And from experience, I know that parents who are happy, healthy, and well-being are more responsive to their children’s needs and emotions. This further strengthens the relationship between parents and their children and eases collaboration and trust. 

How To Be A Mindful Parent

There is no one way to become mindful and in the moment, and it’s more difficult now than ever in a society where screen time, multitasking, and speed is favored and influence our everyday lives. It’s hard to be present and stay in the moment, but it’s possible. These are some tips to be more mindful in your parenting.

Mindful parenting
  • Set a time each day to mute your phone, turn off all screens, and be physically and mentally present with your children. Thirty minutes is a good time to start with.
  • Download a mindfulness app and meditate every day or as often as you’re able. It doesn’t have to be long. Five minutes is enough. I can recommend Buddhify as there are both short and long meditations, and the meditations can be done on the go.
  • Exercise to pause when frustrated, angry, and in conflict with your children. Pause, step away and calm down before continuing so you can continue from a calmer and more composed state of mind. The focus in conflicts should not be right and get what you want but learn something about each other, come to an agreement, and teach and model healthy, effective conflict-solving skills.
  • Evaluate situations afterward and try to understand what happened and why. Why did your child act and behave as he/she did? There is often a reasonable explanation for their behavior, we just don’t always know and see it.

I’ve written about intentional parenting before, and I’ll write about more approaches soon. I’ve heard the question before, doesn’t all these parenting approaches conflict? Don’t you have to choose one? No, you don’t. None of the approaches I write about are conflicting or opposites. All are about similar topics, and some overlap a lot. Besides, you can cherry-pick the things that suit you and your family. There’s no right or wrong. There’s no right or wrong.

If you’re interested in mindful parenting, I’d recommend you to view The Gentle Parenting Course that teaches how to parent, gentle, and respectfully.

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7 Of The Best Mindful Parenting Books