Mindfulness for parents: benefits, exercises and tips

Mindfulness would allow parents to become aware of the present moment, expanding attention and recovering the thickness of the day to feel and accompany the growth of their children with greater intensity.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on December 07, 2021.

Last update: December 07, 2021

The mindfulness for parents seeks to avoid, with attention exercises, that we lose our temper or that emotions govern our actions. Without a doubt, it is not easy to remain calm in the face of the stress of worries for the economy, health or education of the children.

However, responsibility and love, protection and caring, have healthy ways of being catalyzed under pressure. With dynamics that are practiced at any time and place, it is a way of being aware in the now.

There are many benefits that are within reach of weighing the moment and not acting automatically. Children, as much as they receive the negative impact of anger, more and better they will get the balm of respect, patience and understanding. Let’s see how to do it.

What is mindfulness for parents?

The mindfulness for parents it is a way of being in the present, to perceive it carefully, to become aware of the environment and not be reactive. Although there is instability and uncontrolled processes around, active concentration offers the possibility of remaining calm.

In fact, being tense hinders the intellectual faculties of children or parents, interfering with the abilities to learn. So parents being able to focus on breathing produces a physiological transformation that counteracts or cuts off the impulse of thoughtless automatic responses.

And above all, increases the responsiveness of the prefrontal cortex that is associated with sustained attention. Indeed, parents who manage emotions think clearly and effectively and make smart decisions.

The mindfulness reduces stress-induced cortisol secretion, which translates into neuronal protection. This provides serenity and balance. This is expressed in being non-judgmental, in acceptance, understanding and compassion.

Reducing reactivity allows us to face everyday situations with children with greater assertiveness.

Benefits of practicing mindfulness

Parents who practice mindfulness regulate their emotions and increase stimuli and positive moods, improving your immune systems. The therapy encourages self-care that returns to the family in protection and dedication.

Improving concentration stimulates creativity. An attentive person has a productive relationship with time and what can and cannot be done in it. A Chinese proverb says: «if you want something done, entrust it to a busy person ».

Usually, mindfulness increases happiness and engagement, decreasing difficult emotions. It allows you to know your own feelings and those of others. And although it stimulates sensitivity, it generates a kind of self-shielding.



Mindfulness exercises for parents

In a world of haste and inattention, the mindfulness it is an opportunity to insert a full moment into everyday life. Parents do not have to find a special place or wait for a moment of calm.

Even doing whatever is being done, but in a concentrated way, changes the nature of the act. It introduces a time perspective that would be marked by slowdown or slowdown.

Stopping to breathe and letting your thoughts flow like a movie is accepting without judging or comparing.

Breathe in short and breathe out long

Good breathing intervenes throughout the body. To practice it does not require a special site or equipment or tools.

One way would be as follows: sitting or lying down in a comfortable position, place one hand under the ribs and the other on the chest. Now take a deep breath and allow your abdomen to push your hand without moving your chest.

As you exhale, feel the hand sink into the abdomen, using your hand to expel all the air. Perform the exercise 5 to 10 times.

Listen carefully

To hear with all the senses is to do it not only with the ears. It would be about listening to the underlying feelings, because listening requires attention and intention.

In this sense, when the children speak or any member of the family does, they must have time to listen and actively participate in the conversation. With questions, follow-up and control.

If there is anything confusing, stop the speaker and clear it up. Asking will allow the information to be shaped and will make us integrated into the message.

It is advisable to attend to each word with its specific weight. Especially if there is a strange, exotic or misused lexicon. If so, it would be enough to introduce the correction and rejoin the flow of the conversation.

Conscious walk

The mindful walking It is a Zen technique that consists of walking aware of the breath and the sensation of the ground in contact with the feet. It is also attending to the very act of walking, to that kind of prodigy that consists of moving with one’s own feet from one place to another.

Become aware of the path we do daily, count the steps and breathe at a regular rate. Capture the surrounding vegetation, the stones, the trees, the colors, the objects that are so familiar to go unnoticed.

Savor slowly

The point of mindfulness in food is to chew slowly to taste and capture in detail the flavors and textures of food. Eating will be different if the ingredients are perceived and the preparations are detailed.

For a moment out of the ordinary and ordinary, it will not be eating for the sake of eating. On the contrary, there will be time to focus attention on the act of feeding as if it were happening for the first time.



Tips for Successful Parenting Mindfulness

The first tip is to be awake. Although it seems that we are always aware, the mindfulness It supposes being attentive to the moment that passes without ties.

A previous step is to become aware of the body. The classic posture is to have a straight and relaxed back, with the arms hanging from the rib cage and the forehead pointed to the horizon. If you are sitting, let your feet rest on the floor and your back is separated from the backrest.

Trying to do an hour-long meditation routine can help. But more if what has to be done is done with attention and full awareness. Washing dishes, reading, listening to music, shopping, cooking. It is these actions that demand attention and with the mindfulness it would contribute a plus of conscience.

Turning off the phone and disconnecting from unnecessary interruptions so that the sensations of what we are doing occupy everything is ideal. The important thing is to feel the present without concept or reasoning, be carried away by the rhythm of the breath, be aware of the inhalation and exhalation.

It is difficult to find a specific moment in the life of parents to stop. But if you can, it will be of benefit.

The right moment is always this. There is no other time but now.

~ Jon Kabat Zinn ~

Surrender unconditionally to the present

We live pending external obligations that subject us to considerable pressure, distancing ourselves from other family members and even desensitizing us. The techniques of mindfulness They allow us to focus on each one in particular, from the moment in which daily actions are carried out with redoubled awareness.

It is paying attention as a discipline, until you make it part of life without pressure or effort. Accepting that things are as they are is not irresponsible, but rather understanding that life has its rhythms, its ups and downs, its own nature.

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