Implementing mindfulness into your parenting can actually help you with setting limits while strengthening your relationship with your children.
Your emotional health is critical when you're trying to juggle the many demands of being a parent. When we're burnt out and running on empty our threshold for patience and empathy is severely compromised.
Knowing your own limits, respecting what they are, acknowledging how and why they serve you and your children are important aspects of your ever evolving relationship with them. When it comes to parenting more mindfully, self observation is the key ingredient. Assessing and being aware of how you respond to things, as well as noticing your emotions will give you answers on how to move forward on a challenge or disagreement. Ask yourself: When am I most vulnerable to react negatively? What's my mental script in that moment? How can I interrupt that mental script? What other thoughts, language, perspective can I replace that mental script with?
Paying attention to our internal cues can help us take ownership of how we want to shape our day or our week with our children. Of all the things our children are learning, how we manage our stress and the way we communicate (or don't) how the stress is impacting us, is top of the list. Recent social science parenting studies consistently show that the top things that make for effective parenting are:
As our children grow, mature and reach developmental milestones, one of the most significant ones is when they're able to communicate and converse with us. It is such a gift! Remember those days when we'd get excited and proud of our little ones saying their first words and full sentences? Well, it's just as important to keep encouraging that dialogue and self expression as they navigate their worlds and the stressors within them. If we are to help our kids get "unstuck", then we need to do that for ourselves first. Getting honest with ourselves can be uncomfortable because it requires getting vulnerable. Here are some questions you can get started with:
What are my limits and what are they there for?
What am I capable of today?
What am I capable of this week?
What are my needs right now?
What does my child need right now?
How can I communicate my limits effectively and with respect to (my kids/spouse/etc) ?
In its simplest explanation, mindfulness is controlling your mind instead of letting your mind control you. So, as you take on the week, I invite you to actively look for ways to have this be your guide.
I'd love to hear when you've given any of these tips a try. Drop me a note and enjoy the week ahead.
Stay motivated and inspired to PARENT DIFFERENTLY.
Your best self and parent is waiting!