July is Purposeful Parenting Month! And to celebrate? We’re taking a closer look at what it means to be a mindful parent.
First, contrary to popular belief, mindful parenting isn’t about perfection. It’s about showing up imperfectly for your kids and embracing every moment as a chance to grow together. It’s about being self-aware and accepting that sometimes, you’ll confront difficult emotions. But with practice, you can become less reactive and objectively embrace each situation for what it is. Over time, you can learn to have more compassion for yourself and others.
Below are a few tips on how to embrace mindful parenting.
Make space to experience your emotions.
Have you ever heard the saying, what we resist persists? Well, it’s a real thing! The only way to process complicated feelings is to experience them. So when challenging thoughts surface, allow yourself to step back and feel them without judgment.
Life’s never perfect— sometimes you’ll burn dinner, your kids will misbehave, and the people around you will be unsavory. You can’t control the world. Let go and accept things as they are.
Too often, we become rigid and even combative at the first hint of anything that disrupts the structure of our daily lives. And you know what? Our kids are the same way! So, next time someone throws you a curveball, step back, examine your emotions, and respond in the way you would want your child too.
There’s a quote that reads, “People who need love the most often ask for it in the most unlovable ways.” And it couldn’t be more accurate! When we’re struggling, we don’t always put our best foot forward, and our kids are no different. When they’re hungry, tired, or their routine is disrupted, they often behave poorly.
To be compassionate is to have grace for ourselves and those around us—to understand that we’re all subject to the same imperfect qualities that make us entirely human. What our tiny people need during their challenging moments is our empathy, not punishment.
Find room to forgive.
Want to learn forgiveness? Just look at the relationship between a child and their parent. Every day, we make mistakes— we become angry, frustrated, and say or do things we don’t mean, yet our children love us regardless.
We have so much to learn from our kids! When we hold resentment, we’re only hurting ourselves, not the other person. To be mindful is to understand that each of us, including our children, make mistakes, and just like us, they don’t want to be chastised for them.
Have you ever heard the saying that what you water grows? Truthfully, the mindset you bring into each day is a choice. Like every aspect of mindfulness, orienting yourself towards gratitude is a discipline. It’s about making a conscious decision to see the good instead of wallowing in the bad.
Live in the present.
It’s hard to appreciate this moment when you’re busy wadding through the past. What’s done is done, and what will be will be. You only have this time with your child once. Appreciate every second because soon it will only be a memory.
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