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Scoop Magazine - Top Tips for Mindful Parenting

Added 3 weeks ago

Top Tips for Mindful Parenting

As the new school year approaches, so comes the emotional roller-coaster of settling your child into the new regime, often it’s a new class, new friends/teachers, a more intense learning schedule and responsibilities that fill our children with anxiety, excitement or fear. On top of this parents are also consumed with their own stresses and worries about our child’s academic and social needs – the combination of both can lead to explosive scenes on the school run. By being a mindful parent we can navigate these challenges and be that cool calm collective family we so admire at the school gates, focused and ready to learn.

1.       Lead by example – We learn how to manage our emotions typically from our parents and can mirror their behaviour. If mum or dad struggles with anger, anxiety or depression we first need to look inwards. By learning better ways of dealing with our own strong emotions, such as using mindfulness, we will be in a better position to project healthy emotional management at home. If you plan on teaching your child mindfulness, then you need to establish your own practice.

2.       ‘I feel’ statements – young children often lack the vocabulary to explain what it is they are feeling. Anxiety might present itself as a sore throat/tummy, or as an angry outburst. It’s important to get children to verbalise their thoughts and for parents to help them identify what emotion is driving it. Ask your child probing questions such as what are you thinking? how do you feel? Have you felt this way before? Don’t be afraid to label your own emotions in everyday conversation with your child so they learn from you.

3.       Don’t Force it – Mindfulness should never be used as a punishment for naughty behaviour. Rather it should be gently encouraged and integrated into the family routine. It’s important to practice mindfulness when everything is OK, so that if you need it to help calm a situation your child will be able to use the techniques quickly and effectively.

4.       Keep it simple – you can bring mindfulness into everyday tasks such as snack time, walking in the park or performing some slow simple stretches. Try and keep your child focused on the sensation of the practice, guiding them to notice what their senses pick up to help keep them in the moment, pulling them back from distractions.

5.       Pause and Patience – As parents we often feel the need to challenge our child’s strong emotions or behaviour at the time, however we recommend taking a step back and allowing some space for calming practices or reflection before we challenge their behaviour. This way we are not riding off of our own emotion and the child is in a better place to listen and communicate their thoughts,

Teaching your child to take some simple focused breaths between activities, or before communicating emotions can help keep everyone balanced.

You can find lots of practical ways to bring mindfulness into the family home in every issue of Scoop – where you will find practical task, crafts and meditations to make mindfulness fun and easy to establish at home.  www.scoopthemag.co.uk

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Scoop is an independent bi-monthly printed magazine for 7+years, each edition now includes a double-page spread on mindfulness and gives readers tips, advice and activities to reduce anxiety and feel calm.

As the new school year approaches, so comes the emotional roller-coaster of settling your child into the new regime, often it’s a new class, new friends/teachers, a more intense learning schedule and responsibilities that fill our children with anxiety, excitement or fear. On top of this parents are also consumed with their own stresses and worries about our child’s academic and social needs – the combination of both can lead to explosive scenes on the school run. By being a mindful parent, we can navigate these challenges and be that cool, calm and collective family we so admire at the school gates, focused and ready to learn.

Sonya contributes each month to Scoop giving practical ways to bring mindfulness into the family home, from practical tasks to crafts and meditations to make mindfulness fun and easy to establish.

 

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