If you keep up with the latest in evidence-based parenting and you follow my blog, you will know there is building research showing Mindful Parenting activities improve behavioral outcomes for children and has positive effects on parents has well.
What makes Mindful Parenting particularity interesting is that it is considered positive parenting and empowers parents and kids alike. It isn’t discipline or punishment focused, which research is suggesting is not helpful for our kids.
WHAT IS MINDFUL PARENTING?
If you need a refresher, Mindful Parenting is best defined by experts as a practice of parenting that creates constant intentional awareness to the relationship with your child.
Among other things, there is growing evidence indicating that Mindful Parenting helps to improve parent stress and it helps parents become better at not dismissing their children.
These are activities that have been shown to improve mindfulness in parenting. Some of the exercises can be done individually, with your partner or with your children.
4 ACTIVITIES TO ELEVATE PARENTING
1. LISTENING & FEEDBACK
- This is a listening exercise. Ask your kids how you did with listening. Once a week when you sit down for dinner or in the evening, allow your kids the opportunity to offer you feedback consistently on how you’ve been doing with listening to them. Treating your children like individuals with autonomy will teach them maturity. It will also teach them that they can come to you and let you know when things don’t work for them. You become a safe place.
2. SELF REFLECT & AWARENESS OF STRESS
- Assess your stress. It’s helpful to write this down and keep this up to date so you remain aware of how you feel. Time and time again we see parents react differently than they would have when they are under pressure or stress. How we respond to our kids is heavily impacted by how we are mentally. Be aware of and write down your: a) current stress level, b) what your stressors are and c) what triggers, early or other experiences contribute to this.
3. PRACTICING NON-JUDGMENTAL ACCEPTANCE
- Work on understanding how you actually view your child. Grab a pen and paper. Write down the answers to the following questions. Ask yourself honestly a) what am I openly critical of about my children, b) what am I quietly critical of about my children, c) why am I triggered by these things?
4. PRACTICE BEING PRESENT
- Being present. As parents it’s so easy to lose sight of our kids in the chaos of life, jobs, family and friends. Use an exercise called grounding to learn how to exist in the moment. In order to learn how to ground yourself, carve out 5 minutes everyday to sit down in the same place and literally meditate. Find the floor under your feet and allow yourself to just be. Be present in the moment and tune into the senses that connect you to the space. Grounding is an exercise you can do alone or with your children. This is helpful when you find yourself in situations where you’re just trying to get through and are not able to attend to your kids. It’s also helpful in times when you feel you’re being triggered.
FOR FREE MINDFUL PARENTING ACTIVITIES & RESOURCES
Be good to yourself,