Being A Mindful Example
Tips Mindful Parenting
This week on the intentional family moment podcast, we discussed the question “How can we help our children be present in a world that pulls them in every direction?” In our discussion, we came to the conclusion that one of the best ways to help your child be present is to lead by example. The challenge is to take some intentional time to be present with your child. Here are a few mindful parenting ideas to help you succeed:
Do A Tech Or Social Media Fast
When we recorded the podcast, we happened to be in the middle of a 10 day social media fast. We noticed that without the constant notifications and outside social pull, the interactions with our family became more meaningful. A few months earlier, we also participated in the #CoriariaChallenge no-tech weekend. We noticed a natural increase to our ability to be present with out family during that technology break as well. Although there are many benefits to technology and social media, if you are seeking to be more present with your child, do a social media fast or a no-tech weekend to kick-start your engagement.
Engage In Imagination
If you have younger children, one of the best ways to be present is to be present in THEIR world. Smell the flower the fairy house is built on, feel the heat from the dragon’s breath, see the beautiful planets in space, taste the delicious cake they made for the birthday party, and hear the back up band playing to their favorite tune.
If you have older children, this can still apply. Sometimes it takes imagination to engage in the empathy you need to be present with your teens. To you, it may not seem like a big deal that so-and-so didn’t sit by them today, but those emotions and expectations are real to your child. Sit with them. Figuratively and literally be with them in those moments.
Listen and Look
It’s easy for us adults to get caught up in our to-dos and responsibilities. When you’re with your child, make a conscious effort to put all of that aside to focus on your child. Leave work at work. Leave dishes in the kitchen. Set everything aside and be with your child. When you are with them, look them in the eyes. More than a glance, it’s important to truly see your child. When they speak, instead of thinking of what you’d like to respond with, focus only on listening. These little intentional efforts will help you connect in a big way.
Gratitude is a simple way to be actively mindful and present. Express gratitude for things you notice in the moment. Thank your child for attributes and actions that you appreciate. Share this appreciation with them in various ways such as writing a note, speaking out loud, or combining both with a grateful hug.
You can also be an example of gratitude as you walk through life with them. If you are eating dinner, express gratitude for the food you have. If you are reading a bedtime story, express gratitude for the bed they have, for the author who took the time to write the book, and for the blankets that keep them warm. You could also consider keeping a formal gratitude journal with your child.
What other ways have you found to be an example of mindful presence in your home. Share them with us in the comments!
* This post was originally published on MyMindfulMat.com *