What is mindful parenting and why are so many people turning to it?

Children who experience mindful parenting are less like to use drugs or get depression 

Children who experience mindful parenting are less like to use drugs or get depression or anxiety according to researchers at the University of Vermont. The study goes on to claim that the mindfulness a child experiences may also improve the well-being of others in their lives due to the fact that they truly practice mindfulness. Mindful parenting has taken hold in recent years since a book was released in 2009 by Jon Kabitt-Zinn and it was co-written by his wife, the book was originally released in 1997 but didn’t take off till 2009 when they re-released an updated version.
Mindful parenting involves keeping in mind what really is important as we go along our daily lives. It encourages being aware of things that are important and therefore creating wisdom and kindness. Mindful parenting is the belief that in the most trying times (as parents) that you can take a step back and see with fresh eyes seeing the bigger picture. It focuses on learning from our children and paying attention to every single moment as these are what matters most. A mindful parent will refuse to be dragged into a bad day and will see past the turmoil and strife by remaining calm and insightful. 
Mindful parenting believes that…
  • Our lives are interconnected therefore if their child is unhappy so are they, therefore they pay attention to the needs of everyone in their family to live happily in serenity. 
  • If their child suffers in life for any reason, that in turn the parent will too and this increases stress within the family.
  • Sensitivity for their child’s feelings is paramount to keeping the bond between parents and children healthy and happy. 
  • To be distracted is unproductive as they need to give their full focus and attention to their child and live in the moment rather than worrying about later or tomorrow. 
  • They approach mistakes by their children in a calm and caring manner. 
  • They interact with their children well and give them their 100% of everything that they have in that moment. 
  • They place a huge importance on slowing down their daily life and really appreciating the little things in life. 
While mindful parenting is rising in popularity it does come with its drawbacks. Some parents find it hard to contain their emotions and struggle to stay calm when their child has misbehaved. Most mindful parent’s advice is counting to ten and taking deep breaths before proceeding with their child. Outside influences are natural and some parents will not be able to stay fully focused on their child as they are too busy or extremely tired. It could be unrealistic to believe that a parent can practice mindful parenting all the time when the world constantly challenges them, never mind their children. 
It takes practice to remain mindful and it is advised that some practice being mindful before they become a parent. Being aware of their thoughts and feelings is key to being successful in mindful parenting, along with the ability of meditation or the enjoyment of remaining mindful. 
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer at Family Friendly HQ

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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