The following is a transcript from Episode 1 of My Mindful Mat Moment Podcast Episode 1: FOR PARENTS – What is Mindful Parenting?
Podcast Episode 1 Transcript
Welcome to the My Mindful Mat Moment. Today we will discuss what it means to be a Mindful Parent.
Mindfulness has become common in pop culture. Luckily, that’s for a good reason. While research continues, study after study has shown positive effects of Mindfulness and Mindful Parenting. So what does it mean to be a Mindful Parent?
For us, Mindful Parenting is an intentional presence with our children and families. You may hear us at times use mindful parenting and intentional parenting interchangeably. It is this intentional presence that helps us to act rather than react with our families. In other words, Mindful Parenting is using the power of presence to make conscious, intentional choices about our parenting. The opposite of this would be Mind-less parenting, which is directionless and reactionary. As The Gottman institute says “Mindful parenting means that you bring your conscious attention to what’s happening, instead of getting hijacked by your emotions.” https://www.gottman.com/blog/mindful-parenting-how-to-respond-instead-of-react/ Jon Kabat-Zinn describes it as “…seeing if we can remember to bring… attention and openness and wisdom to our moments with our children.” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-is-mindful-parenting_b_5945356 What do you bring with you to the moments you have with your children?
Let’s talk for a moment about a few things that can help us be more mindful, present parents. The popular app Headspace notes that “This presence can take many forms: for example, it may look like paying attention to your child, noticing your own feelings when you’re in conflict with him or her, pausing before responding, and listening to your child’s viewpoints, even if they differ from your own.” https://www.headspace.com/mindfulness/mindful-parenting
A research paper in the Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review similarly, gives us five dimensions of mindful parenting relevant to the parent–child relationship: 1. listening with full attention 2. nonjudgmental acceptance of self and child 3. Emotional awareness of self and child 4. self-regulation in the parenting relationship; and 5. compassion for self and child. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10567-009-0046-3
If all of this sounds confusing, new, or just too far out of reach – don’t worry! Mindful – intentional parenting is not perfect parenting. It takes time, practice, awareness, and patience.
For now, let’s start with just ONE application from the various definitions of mindful parenting we discussed today: Pausing before responding. My Mindful Mat is designed to help you and your child be more mindful, especially in times with difficult emotions.
When there is an emergency on an airplane, you are told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else. By securing yourself first, you are in a position to help others. The same principle applies in parenting – Specifically, remembering to breathe first.
When you or your child begin to feel frustrated or angry, take a breath and a pause. This breath and pause before helping your child with their emotions can mean the difference between a Mindful Parenting experience and a reactionary time-out. Then, reach for your My Mindful Mat and take time with your child to practice mindfulness. So – the next time you are reacting to your child – breathe and pause – now, you can act.
We hope that this podcast as well as resources at MyMindfulMat.com will help all of us become more Mindful, Intentional parents. If you don’t have a My Mindful Mat, you can learn more and order now at MyMindfulMat.com. Other resources and mindfulness activities are also available at MyMindfulMat.com. If you have questions or suggestions for future podcast episodes, please share them with us by visiting one of our social media pages or by contacting us at Coriaria.com (c-o-r-I-a-r-I-a.com). Thank you for joining us for a My Mindful Mat moment today.