Amidst the chaos of raising a family, it can be difficult to find time to take a deep breath and appreciate the current moment.
However, committing to even small moments of mindfulness can make your family home a calmer, more enjoyable space for everyone. Taking a timeout together can help your children talk more clearly about their thoughts and emotions. Likewise, mindfulness can help you become a more aware, caring parent. Even a quick mindfulness session can help you identify the challenges your children are facing and will raise your positive energy when you enter the room.
Mindfulness is a popular meditation method that people around the world use to reconnect with their bodies and calm their minds. At its simplest, mindfulness is all about creating a “moment-by-moment awareness” of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
Mindfulness can help you come to terms with the current moment and reenergize you during times of stress. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is an effective way to decrease your body’s physical response to stress, and it can even help you see life’s stresses and strains in a new light.
Mindfulness can be great for kids. Just like adults, kids have a range of stressors and challenges they face in their day-to-day life. Mindfulness can help kids negotiate these difficulties, improve their ability to focus on the task at hand, and help build lifelong coping skills. This can be particularly useful if your child is struggling to focus at school or often lets their anger get the better of them.
Managing Anger and Emotions
Everyone gets angry from time to time. And though anger can be a useful emotion, it’s also easy for anger to become powerful and overwhelming. Mindfulness can help you (and your children) navigate your anger without saying or doing something that you regret later.
Consider giving your children anger management worksheets to help them learn how to deal with this strong emotion in a healthy way. Child anger management can be difficult to deal with as a parent, as you’re likely to get caught up in their emotional reaction to things. A worksheet can help you both think about how to better identify and negotiate anger before you get to a boiling point.
Simple mindfulness activities like body scans and counting your breaths can deescalate volatile situations, too. A quick time out may be just what your child needs when they’re particularly frustrated with a lengthy car ride or a chore that they just don’t want to do. This kind of break can also help you calm down, take stock of your own emotions, and ensure you’re bringing a level head to the situation.
Harnessing Mindfulness for Sustainability
Mindfulness can reduce your stress and help you think more clearly about how you run your home, as well as the changes you’d like to make to your lifestyle. This may help you identify unsustainable practices in your house and help your whole family become more aware of the impact that you have on the environment.
The connection between mindfulness and sustainability has been broached by academic researchers, too. Researchers found that those with higher empathy were able to connect with environmental causes and improve their personal sustainability. Those who engage in mindfulness can see themselves as part of a larger issue and can make positive lifestyle changes to benefit both themselves and the earth.
You might, for example, complete some mindfulness techniques as a family then consider your use of fast fashion. Fast fashion hurts the environment due to high waste and low-quality materials. It can hard to stop buying fast fashion, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Use mindfulness to reconsider your purchases and consider old clothes or shop together at thrift stores that sell vintage clothes.
Or, you could enjoy a mindfulness activity as a family, and then think about ways to reduce how much you drive. For instance, you could make a plan to go on a bike ride together at least once per week or opt to take the bus when going to the grocery store. Essentially, mindfulness can help you explore ways to integrate more sustainable modes of transportation into your routine and even strengthen your bond as a family.
Your children rely on you for guidance, safety, and affirmations. A positive home environment can help them feel safe when they venture out into the world and will ensure that they feel comfortable confiding in you when they need to. Affirmations go hand in hand with mindfulness, as mindfulness helps you reconsider your current thoughts and feelings.
Consider adding an “affirmation” to your personal mindfulness practice. You can make silent affirmations about yourself at first, as this will build your confidence and help you learn to express your feelings.
Next, wrap up family mindfulness sessions with some affirmations. Don’t force your children to say something if they don’t want to, but try to share your feelings. Focus on being positive, uplifting, and empowering at this time, and let your child know that you are grateful for their existence.
Sharing positive affirmations with your children can help them find success in later life, too. Children who feel secure are more likely to adopt a growth mindset and take risks. They know that they can always return to a positive home environment and that you love them unconditionally. Daily affirmations can also help your child develop a habit of positive self-talk, which will serve them well when life gets tough.
Mindfulness is a great way to improve your self-awareness and reduce your stress. You can share the benefits of mindfulness with your family by setting aside time to breathe and explore your thoughts and feelings. Some children may need some extra structure during this time, so consider giving them a task like filling out an anger management worksheet or having them think about the environment. Wrap up each session with an affirmation that helps everyone feel loved and supported.