Mindful Parenting: Why it is important for you and your child
Parenting can most certainly be one of the most challenging and stressful jobs. However, its significance lies in the influence that it has on the children. Practising the idea of mindfulness as parents and modelling the same for our children might very well be the factor that tips the balance from increased chaos to increased harmony and happiness.
What is mindfulness?
In essence, mindfulness simply means that you bring your conscious attention to the present experience, in a non-judgemental and accepting manner. When you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, you inconsequently gain more ability to CHOOSE your response of what is happening, rather than getting hijacked by your emotions.
Now, why is mindfulness an important concept for parents?
There is a reason why airlines advise us to put our own oxygen masks first. Children can’t reach those or can’t be relied on to put them properly. If we lose our function, our kids can’t save us – or themselves. Hence, even if we would sacrifice ourselves to protect our children, it is our responsibility to put our own oxygen masks first.
This is where mindfulness comes in.
Just like the oxygen masks, it is your responsibility as a parent to help your child with his emotions. Unfortunately, when you’re exhausted or stressed out, you can’t constructively be there for the child. This is why your first responsibility in good parenting is always to be mindful of your own inner state. Don’t get us wrong – mindfulness doesn’t mean that you feel anger, it just implies that you pay attention to how you’re feeling, but don’t act upon it irrationally.
It is not a surprising fact that kids are sometimes capable of setting off a wide range of emotions in us. Sometimes, they might even trigger unresolved issues from our childhoods. In moments like these, our reactions to them may be inappropriate to the present and are often trapped in the past. By being more mindful, we can take a pause before reacting and take time to calm ourselves down. It is important to remind ourselves to breathe for a minute, become more aware of the situation and choose to respond in a manner consistent with how we want to treat our child.
It is essential not to be oblivious to how their young eyes perceive us. Sometimes, in moments when we lose control, we can appear to be terrifying. As parents, aren’t we the ones that are supposed to make them feel safe? Mindful parenting allows us to take a step back from the situation and observe our emotional reaction and then, react rationally.
Since this is a topic of extreme value, it would be better off to hear experts talking on this. MLSI is hosting a workshop on this very issue with the founder of Bodhicitta, Ms Kamal Malhi. As an educator herself, Ms Malhi has been deeply involved in the learning outcomes in schools, training parents in the art of mindfulness and helping educators bring potent solutions for raising kids in today’s frenzied world. She is a trained instructor in mindfulness-based-stress-reduction (MBSR) and also practices Insight Meditation.
Date: 24th October, 2019
Time: 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM
Venue: Mount Litera School International, BKC
Happy parenting begins with being mindful first. To register for the workshop, click here!