Golden secrets of mindful parents
Mindfulness plays a vital role in allowing you to be aware of your thoughts and emotions, to manage and control them. Thoughts really run around in your mind and can very quickly cause you to lose control of all your actions and behaviors. You are often living in the past or the future and missing the present as a result. At the same time, you put a lot of effort into multitasking. So you get distracted by different things and therefore you can never focus on one thing one hundred percent.
Be mindful when eating as a family; immerse yourself in the food and enjoy the whole experience together. Instead of doing work while the children are eating or having the children watch TV during mealtimes, make an effort to sit down as a family and eat with full mindfulness and family conversations. Practicing mindful eating will make you feel physically fuller and spiritually more satisfied. After these feelings, you may not even need an after-dinner snack.
Take time to think before reacting to your emotions. Does your action really have a purpose, can something else be done for the same effect, is there another way? You can take a bath, read a book, drink coffee, call a friend or go for a walk. Pay attention to your thoughts, observe them and then take action. Is it nice to wake up with a hangover or to wake up fully rested after a long sleep? Control the impulses of your emotions and take action by making choices that are relaxing and good for you.
Your goal is not to be perfect and always do the right thing. Just remember that months, years ago, years ago, even yesterday, you didn't know what to do. But today you are better informed, better equipped and you find a way and go on living. It will be the same from now on. Some problems may take longer or shorter to solve than others, but the important thing is to be on the path, not the duration. It is not a race; everyone lives in their own time and makes their own choices.
Take a moment to really think when plans go awry. Remind yourself that things do not and will not always go as planned. Do your best to help your children learn this understanding too. It's okay if something goes wrong because there is always a plan b, c, d.
Sometimes there are times when you wish time would go faster. You can tell your child to hurry up while you are reading a story or stopping to learn what they are reading. Because you may have things on your mind that you need to go on, that you need to finish. Now, if such thoughts come to you, observe them with awareness and choose not to engage with them. Because if you are in a hurry to get things done, you will miss time with your child and this will not make you happy.
When you add stress on top of stress, things can become unmanageable. Whatever you are doing in those moments, focus on what you are doing with great care. Your child needs your attention and affection, two of the most precious commodities in this world.
Observe how attentively your child reads his or her book and join him or her. There may be times when you can follow your child's example in paying attention to something!
Children are fully present in whatever they are doing, fully aware of their thoughts and feelings. Enjoy this.