People often ask me how they can be better parents. My response is typically, “better than what?” The truth is, parenting is a lifelong process of learning, evolving, and continuous improvement.
This comes up often with my clients. When we discuss how to be “better,” I often say that better looks different for everyone. For me personally and professionally, better means showing up for our children and ourselves. It means actively being intentional and mindful. This is often followed by the question, “what does being mindful mean?” Mindfulness is about being in the present moment without focusing or dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. It means that you are in the present moment, which can help you enjoy your life in a more fruitful way.
Parenting is tough. Every day is a new day. No one is at the finish line; rather, we are all a work in progress.
When we are being mindful, it can help us be better parents. When we are focused on and monitor our own emotions, rather than allowing them to spill over onto our kids, we will have more moments filled with positive energy rather than a negative projection. When we live mindfully and with self-awareness, we are better able to control and monitor ourselves and our own emotions.
The art of mindfulness in parenting involves…
- Listening and observing what is happening in front of us.
- Focusing our attention on the present moment.
- Non-judgmental responses to ourselves and others.
- Self-awareness and self-regulation.
- Seeing your children clearly with love, empathy and understanding, from moment to moment.
When we live this way, we can connect with our children, create and strengthen family bonds, reduce stress, worry, and anxiety, and create a better environment for ourselves and our children. Remember, “better” than what? Your canvas is never complete—we are all here learning, growing, and evolving.