How To Be: A Mindful Parent
Sometimes as parents, we lose our cool. It can leave us feeling guilty and then you worry because of it. This is really common in parents as sometimes life just gets the best of us.
We’ve made the Mindful Mondays blogs about children, but now we want to make it all about you. As a parent if you want your child to behave a certain way you have to model the behaviour you are expecting from them yourself.
These tips will allow you to regulate your own emotions, when dealing with issues and strive to be a calmer parent, therefore positively influencing your children to be calmer and less prone to tantrums.
These are five things you can do to be a calmer parent:
1. Recognizing the anger
Fighting fire with fire just causes you to get burned. Which is why when you notice your child doing something ‘wrong’ the best way to handle it does not mean getting angry. It’s okay to be upset about your child’s behavior, but anger doesn’t help things. It only makes everything you say or do come out worse.
Allow your child to express their point of view. Sometimes understanding the situation can help decrease annoyances. Typically children’s intentions are innocent and come out of them being curious of how the world works. Simply asking your child why they did what they did can defuse circumstances. Of course, this doesn’t mean letting them off for being ‘naughty’ but it helps you assess the situation and it also helps you handle the state with less anger and helps the child not ‘lash out’.
3. Take a deep breath
Don’t react whilst you’re angry. Give yourself time to assess the behavior and decide how you think is best to respond. This is where the practice comes in. Turning this exercise into a habit will progressively help you become calmer and will give your children the sense of stability. However, don’t forget having rules are important. Children need to have limits that can’t be crossed and should be mindful of the consequences if they misbehave.
4. Talk through your feelings
We have mentioned in previous blogs how it is important for parents to communicate their feelings. Being open with your children helps children to understand how certain situations make them feel which leads them to being mindful. If you felt angry, you should explain why you feel that way (age appropriate of course) – even if you feel you should apologize, this helps massively with allowing your child to understand the importance of communication.
5. Me time
Having time out for yourself is so important. You will know from other situations that if you don’t take time out to breathe and relax, it isn’t good for you mentally. Some days can be difficult, some days may be easy, but that is exactly why you should take small breaks from routine to relax and feel calm. It may only be going for a walk, getting your nails done or even exercise. But using that time to shut off and focus on yourself can help how you react on the difficult days. Don’t forget, your well-being is just as important as your child.