The other night I listened to a talk about peace building and how this peace begins with our own ability to be mindful. It struck me that this message is so important for parents, because they are the first to influence a child and how the child interacts with the world.
How often do we react to our children’s behaviors rather than respond in a conscious way? Ever find yourself yelling or giving a time out that you know isn’t going to solve the problem at hand? Or what about those times when you realize that you’re acting with your child just the way your parent did with you (and you don’t like it)?
If you want to help your child become aware of his or her thoughts and feelings and express them in a way that other people understand, you’ve got to begin with yourself. What are the internal beliefs that are “running” you? How do your knee-jerk reactions reflect child-rearing methods that you know are ineffective?
We all have our blind spots, but you’ll get a much clearer view when you can stop, breath, and focus on your immediate experience, see what’s going on in the present moment. Being with your child fully in this moment, without allowing past experiences to cloud your view, you help your child feel understood, valued, and respected. As a mindful parent, the deep, attuned connection you have with your children equips them to feel empathy for their family, friends, and others. The seeds you plant today will help them grow to their potential and become the flowers of peace and joy that make this world a better place.
To your joyful parenting!