A new way of looking at parenting is being 'Mindful' as a parent. What does ‘Mindfulness’ mean? Mindfulness is an approach where our awareness about the self and the surrounding is at the highest. We become a part of the whole awareness and become an observer of our emotions and thoughts. As individuals all of us are naturally carried away by the stressful environment and tend to get carried away by the negatives of the surrounding and make ourselves victims of the same. Mindfulness gives us a skill to not get attached to the negatives, but yet experience them and let it pass!
Mindful parenting helps us keep our eyes open to our emotions and feelings and be a responsive parent rather than a reactive parent. It should help us to keep a watch on our emotions when there is a triggering situation and respond appropriately by being an observer of our emotions, rather than getting carried away in the storm. So, when we allow the moment to pass without having the need to be impulsive, we are more stable and in control of our reactions.
How does it help the child?
Firstly, as a 'Mindful' parent we make our efforts not to be judgemental and critical towards our child. In the process, the child can develop an adequate sense of self with learning through mistakes.
Second, as a 'Mindful' parent we can be more active listeners and empathetic to our children and this in turn will allow them to feel validated and accepted which helps them to feel worthy, thereby, creating good self-esteem in them.
Third, as a 'Mindful' parent we are giving children their space required for their inner growth by not being pushy and anxious. Therefore, a child develops a sense of responsibility towards oneself and becomes confident to deal with problems in their life.
A 'Mindful' parent gives the world a healthy, 'Mindful' adult in the future. And therefore, it is our responsibility as adults in the first place to create the inner space within ourselves and take charge of our lives to the fullest and then to help our children to be ‘mindful’.
All the best!
Dr. Murlidhar is an Eversparks Counselor and practicing Psychologist operating her private practice in Bangalore, India. Trained in CBT and relevant psycho-dynamic methods, she employs an eclectic approach, formulating therapeutic approaches according to each client's assessment and need.