Being a parent in today’s busy world is like being a modern day super hero. Our super power? The ability to be everywhere and everything all the time.
But what’s the cost of doing it all and handling it like a boss? The cost is the quality of your interactions with your child and the perpetuation of yet another generation that lives entirely in their minds as they race from checkpoint to checkpoint.
Finding ways to bring yourself back to the present moment whenever you are with your child will not only strengthen your bond, the quality of your interactions, but it will teach them how to slow down, be present and mindful, and at peace.
Here are a few ways to be a more mindful parent in today’s crazy busy world:
Be where you are
When you come home from work or have an afternoon alone with your child, be, really be, exactly where you are. If your child is playing with a toy, engage with them even if its just for a few moments (dinner can wait). Try to see what the world looks like through their eyes. Our children can be our greatest teachers. They are not thinking about the demands of tomorrow or even a task they need to accomplish in the next few minutes. Children live completely and unapologetically in the present moment. Let’s help them hold onto this sacred ability as we find our way back to it.
Turn your phone and TV off. Give your child your full attention when you can. It’s unrealistic to try and give them your undivided attention all the time, nor should you, but when you find those moments, be totally present with them. You might even consider getting rid of one TV in your house in a dining/sitting area. It is liberating! Replace the TV with a plant or record player and enjoy one common space in your home dedicated to spending quality time together.
You are the calm
When you find yourself in the middle of a child-induced cyclone of chaos, realize that you are the calm in the eye of the storm. Your energy sets the tone for everyone and everything. Find your center, recalibrate, and breathe before you do or say anything. Accept that your house is a mess, maybe even laugh at it to make it feel less overwhelming. After you have taken a few slow breaths and said “oh well” you can then lead your clan to the promise land in a calm and assertive manner.