Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by melissanreynolds
I was so frustrated that they had woken the baby again that I yelled. I yelled so loudly I am sure the neighbour was sorry the baby was awake.
My heart rate rose, my headache was exacerbated and I felt terrible. The boys didn’t mind because they were used to periodically top blowing. This was not mindful parenting.
And then it clicked for me.
I am a Fibromyalgia and Mindfulness Coach. I have learnt and teach others to utilise mindfulness and meditation in their fight against chronic pain, chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and overwhelm. But what about utilising this knowledge in my daily life? What about using it to help not only myself but my kids?
I dug into the research. As I do.
I found this article, “Analyses showed that parents who reported more mindful parenting engaged in more positive and less negative parenting behavior, which was then linked to more positive behavior in their kids—meaning less anxiety, depression, and acting out.”
So what are the characteristics of a mindful parent?
It means managing our responses – emotions and behaviours – so that our children learn to manage theirs also.
This can be tricky when we face chronic, all day, every day pain, fatigue and insomnia.
So what tools can help us with being a more mindful parent?
Mindfulness practices, of which there are many.
Managing our own stress response is so important to helping us manage with our children. Taking a moment to breath, pause and question what we are reacting to, if this battle is worth our energy. Can really help us. And as a bonus it helps calm our nervous system, which helps calm our symptoms.
- Breathing practices
- Gratitude practice
- The Five Senses exercise (paying attention to your senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste)
If you wanted to practice a five day challenge for yourself here are the days:
We can also practice with our children. Breathing practices are easily accessible. Just focusing on our breath, slightly extending the exhale, is a great practice to help ground and soothe us.
Taking a moment to hone in on what is around us can help us (and our children) to calm down. The five senses exercise focuses on what we can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Leaning into our experience.
Free Breathing Practices to help you be a more mindful parent
Find your one minute breathing practice – to use the calming breath from day one here.
A three minute practice can be a great way to fit in a brief meditation each day.