October 22, 2022
Quote of the Week
"Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think." --Buddha
Parenting can be stressful. Parenting kids with special needs can be even more stressful, and it can cause anxiety, depression and marital problems. A mindfulness practice can help alleviate stress and prevent these problems. And it can make you a better parent. Mindfulness is designed to help you notice your emotions and calm yourself down in stressful situations. It includes breathing exercises, guided meditations and taking a step back from difficult situations. These habits can give you the time and emotional space you need to solve problems at home.
Sometimes mindfulness means slowing things down. Being mindful means focusing on right now and not always rushing to get to the next thing. It means letting go of the idea that things need to be perfect. Or that you need to be the perfect parent. Part of being a good parent is learning to dial back your own stress. Studies show that the biggest source of stress for kids is their parents’ stress! So, parents who are less stressed make kids less stressed. In stressful situations, your calm response will help your kids calm down too. They see that you’re not falling apart. You’re in control and that makes them feel safe.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a big deal. It can be as simple as making one small change to the morning routine. It can mean giving your full attention to your kid in the moment. It can mean being kind to yourself. And that can make all the difference in the world. Read more in this week's featured article from the Child Mind Institute.
Title: Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work Of Mindful Parenting
By: Jon Kabat-Zinn
By learning to respect our children for their innate wholeness, the Kabat-Zinns say in this wise guide--by teaching them that it is safe for them to be open with all their feelings and to ask for what they need--we can allow them to find the inner resources to deal with the challenges of life. "When has parental disapproval, in the form of shaming, humiliating or withholding, ever been a positive influence on a child's behavior?" asks Myla Kabat-Zinn, a childbirth educator, and Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are), parents of three. "For it is in our honoring of their whole selves that inner growth and healing take place." For the Kabat-Zinns, the key to cultivating the acceptance and empathy that are needed to parent effectively is to be found in the practice of mindfulness, which they define as "moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness." As we learn to look beyond our own habitual judgments and reactions, claim the authors, who write as longtime students of Zen, we experience children of any age as Zen masters, so naturally open that they show us how to live in the present. --Publishers
Be the Change
Try one of these 5 mindfulness tips each day this week and see how it feels to fully embrace the present moment with your family. What was easy to do? What was challenging? Share your tips with us!