Parents Corner

Embracing Mindfulness: A Parent’s Guide to Being Present With Their Children

1,584

You may have heard the term mindfulness in relation to personal wellbeing, but have you considered mindful parenting? So, what is mindfulness and how do you include it in the everyday hustle?

Mindfulness in a Nutshell
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the here and now, without judgement or distraction. Paying deliberate attention to our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and environment, without getting caught up in it. Mindfulness can be practiced in the everyday by mindful eating, mindful walking, or simply paying attention to the task at hand like washing dishes. The trick is to tune into your thoughts, feelings, body, and surroundings. Have you ever just stopped to think about the sun on your face or the sounds of the birds, as go for a walk?

Benefits of Mindfulness
The benefits include reduced stress, improved emotional regulation and sleep, enhanced parent-child relationships, better decision-making abilities, increased empathy and compassion, and increased focus and attention.
Mindful parenting creates increased family harmony, emotional resilience in children, and deeper connections and understanding within the family.

Meditation as a tool
Whilst meditation allows you to be present for a set period, the aim of mindfulness is to remember to come back to the present during the day. Regular meditation practice is known to have benefits including changing and rewiring our brains, to more positive emotions and thoughts. Grey matter in the brain has been shown to increase with regular meditation, improving emotion regulation, planning, problem solving, learning, and memory. In addition, the amygdala, which controls fear, anxiety, and stress, reduces in size.

Mindfulness Techniques
Here are several techniques regularly used in meditation or everyday practice that can be used to develop mindfulness:

  • Body Scan Meditation: A mental exercise where you scan your body from head to toe, paying attention to tension and discomfort in the body, and gently releasing it.
  • Mindful Breathing: Focus on each inhale and exhale, paying attention to the natural rise and fall of the chest and the stomach. Just a few minutes every day is enough to encourage mental clarity and relaxation.
  • Mindful eating: Next time to you eat, pause, and think about how the food’s texture, how it smells, looks, and tastes. This is often a fun activity for children.
  • Structured meditation: There are many apps and websites with free mediations including Headspace, Calm, Insight, and Peaceful Kids.

 

Article Written + Submitted by

Sussan Omar | Parenting Facilitator

Nepean Community & Neighbourhood Services
W: www.nepeancommunity.org.au
E: info@nepeancommunity.org.au

 

Leave A Reply