Parenting can be a challenge, to say the least... Unlike our professional lives, parenting isn't being taught and we parents can often find ourselves wondering what we need to do to be better parents to our loved ones. Although there is no such thing as 'The Right Answer' or 'The Right Way' when it comes to parenting, here are 7 tips that can help you be a more mindful parent:
- Imagine how you appear and sound from your child's perspective, what it might do to your body language? To your speech, and feelings? Let go of your own viewpoint and imagine the world through the eyes of your child. Remind yourself every day of what this child faces and who he or she is by doing this.
- See your children as perfect as they are. Try to stay mindful of their individuality throughout the day, and accept them as they are even when you find it hard to do. One of the main reasons for anger, frustration, and stress among parents is the fact that they imagine a different child or different behaviors and choices from their child; the key is to accept your children for who they are without constantly trying to change them.
- Consider whether your expectations are truly in your child's best interest. Make sure you pay attention to how you communicate these expectations and how they affect your children; and most importantly, always question your expectations regarding your child. You'll be surprised to find out that the majority of these expectations are related to your childhood fears or your wishes regarding the child's future that are not necessarily in his best interest. It does not make you a bad parent - just because you are a human being who's subjected to constant manipulation by his mind and soul.
- You can live with tension without losing your balance. It's no secret that kids can get us out of balance, but as with other things, the key to staying balanced is training. If you know how a specific situation with your kids can throw you off balance, you can practice it over and over in your head. Every time you play this clip in your head and keep your balance (in your mind) you're literally training both your behavioral system and your neuro system to stay balanced when this kind of situation occurs in reality.
- Don't be afraid to say 'I'm sorry' to your kids! Healing begins with apologies. In an apology, you show yourself and your kids that you have thought about a situation and have come to understand it more clearly. Perhaps you can now see it from their perspective.
- Our children need us to be clear, strong, and unequivocal at times. It is important that we do so from a place of awareness, generosity, and discernment, not out of righteousness, fear, or control. Every child is unique, and every child has special needs. Each person sees the world differently. Imagine each child in your heart. Feel their presence and wish them well.
- One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is yourself. You must keep learning about yourself and becoming more aware as a parent and as a human being. Making time for quiet contemplation in whatever manner feels comfortable to us can contribute to this ongoing work. All we have is the present moment. Use it wisely, for our children's and for our own sake.
You can copy and paste this into your to-do list app or write it on a sticky note:
- See things from your child's perspective
- Love your children, as they are
- Question your expectations
- Keep your balance
- Say I'm sorry
- Be strong and clear
- Become more aware of yourself