So far in this workshop, we’ve talked about what mindful parenting is — the ability to tune in to what is actually going on with you and your kids so you can respond thoughtfully, rather than reacting impulsively — and some of the myths about mindful parenting.
Now we’re going to dive into how to actually be more present and connected in our daily lives. The trick to mindfulness is to practice it when it’s easy so that we can actually use those skills to calm down and find our grounding when things get really chaotic. We’ll talk more about meditation, yoga, and other formal mindfulness practices next week, but for now we’re going to focus on informal mindfulness practices.
I’m talking about brief periods of time each day when we can focus on our breathing, the smell of our coffee, or the sound of the phone ringing. As we start to develop the habit of paying attention even when we are bored (sitting in traffic) or annoyed (another phone call from that person we’ve been avoiding), it will become easier to stay grounded and focused when our kids are whining or nagging.
The power of mindfulness exists in that moment — when we can respond to what is actually happening, as opposed to reacting to whatever is going on in our regretful, anxious, frustrated, over-active brains.
The rest of this post, including my ideas for practicing mindfulness throughout the day, is over on the Huffington Post Stress-Less Parenting website – check it out!