Mindful Parenting is not about being a yogi or practicing Buddhism; it’s about being human and realizing that we have more options than we may think in any moment, no matter what is happening. Just bringing awareness to your breathing and sustaining it over time can be very powerful. Remember, whether you are reacting mindlessly or responding mindfully, your child is drinking it all in.Jon Kabat-Zinn
Get down on their level – There is nothing like getting down on their level that allows one to leap into the moments or enables them to feel our presence… it’s as easy as kneeling that can get us intentional about our connection. Look deeply into their eyes and lock into the moment.
Slow Down – this is “it” –life is happening right here, right now. The journey IS the end-point; it is the goal. Mindful moments occur when we honor the process of now. All of life happens only in the now, including parenting. If we can slow down and live, life unfolds into beautiful moments… Allow your child to “doddle” on the way into the library to check out purple flowers, smell that rose. Life is not “out there”, it’s right here.
Simplify– children don’t need complicated and elaborate plans to make them happy. Studies show backyard activities, picking flowers, berries, or flying a kite are amongst some of the most enjoyable. Activities which foster a being/flowing realm vs. planning/doing mode are more conducive to mindful connections- unhindered by logistics. It can be chaotic enough with children, keep things simple.
Engage in Mindful Activities – Let them watch you breathe, slow yourself down, enjoy life, do yoga, laugh so hard your belly hurts, comfort a friend like you don’t have something to do next, let them see you Savor life.
Observe – be the observer/witness of what’s going on your child, inside and out. Observe to cultivate their inner observer, their ability to attune to themselves. Attune your inner world to match. You might give a non-judgmental voice to what you witness, mirroring back with love.