Mindful parenting

Ever feel like you are about to lose your rag with your little one?!

With a very headstrong and vocal toddler, who seems to have a meltdown over me doing something as simple as cutting up her croissant at breakfast, there are definitely times I need to step away and take a breath.

Mindfulness and leadership coach Mihaela Berciu believes that mindfulness for children equals wellness for adults. But in order for them to understand the meaning of mindfulness, it’s best for parents to lead by example.

Mindfulness helps parents to become more aware of feelings and thoughts, tune into their child’s needs, reduces impulse reactions and strengthens the bond between parent and child.

So when things are feeling just that little bit overwhelming, stop for a second and consider the following tips from Mihaela.

1. When you have negative feelings beginning to surface, whether they are irritation, disappointment, boredom or frustration – step away from the space that you are sharing with your child immediately. If you can, step into another room. If not, move into a different space so that you are on your own.

2. Take some long deep breaths, focusing on each breath as it moves through your body. Now listen to the sounds around you and feel your shoulders, arms, feet relax.

3. As you feel yourself calming down and gaining perspective, step back into the room. Watch your child, notice each movement, the hair on their head, their breathing. Marvel at the wonder of the child in front of you that you have been blessed to help travel through life.

4. Now think again about the problem or frustration and look at it from your child’s point of view. Calm and thinking rationally, require yourself to be open-minded and non-judgmental. With a new child’s point of view of the issue, you will feel empathy and love. With a new measured and supportive mindset, you are now ready to return to the shared space.

5. Listening attentively to your child, discuss what happened (if it was something that your child needs guidance with) and discuss what your child could do next together to solve the problem. If the issue was your own emotion from within, have the conversation with yourself, and decide what you can do to solve the problem.

Mindful parenting makes us more compassionate, calm, joyful and healthy parents – an essential ingredient if we want to raise happy, balanced, healthy and caring children.

Spark Your Bloom is an online mindfulness magazine offering advice on how to practice mindfulness and meditation in your day to day life. For more information, visit www.sparkyourbloom.com.

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