If you are trying to become a more active parent, be more involved in your child's development and wellbeing, then you should definitely read this!
How You Can Become a More Mindful Parent
Being an active parent doesn’t mean doting on your children 24/7 and attending to their every whim. In fact, there is no definitive definition of the term “active parent.”
Rather, the term implies a parent who is there for their kids when they need them and who pays attention to all aspects of their children’s health and wellbeing. This includes their physical health and their mental health.
If you want to be a more active parent, use this one simple piece of advice: When you’re with your kids, really be there.
All of us lead busy, hectic lives. Because of this, it’s far too easy to only “half be there” when you’re with your kids sometimes.
For instance, you might make them lunch every day but never sit with them at the table. Or, you might play with your kids on the floor every day after work but for most of the time, you’re scrolling on your phone.
Try this: the next time you tell your child that you’re going to do something together (go for a walk, eat a snack, play a game …), really be there1. Put down your phone, turn off the TV, and shut your computer. Then have fun!
Even if it’s just for five minutes, if you really spend that time in full mindfulness with your child, they will appreciate it more than you know.
Activate the 5 Senses
Ready for some indoor fun? Here are some easy mindfulness activities to activate your child’s 5 senses!
Here’s an awesome drawing idea for kids.
Gather some strong-smelling items from your home (a ripe banana, some lotion — even an old shoe!), and have your kids draw what they smell.
This mindfulness activity is probably a game you’ve played before: I Spy.
I Spy is one of the most enjoyable activities for kids when you’re driving or waiting in line. Simply have someone silently choose an object within everyone’s sight. Then, the other participants have to guess what it is using their observation skills and only yes/no questions.
This makes a great mindfulness activity for toddlers.
Take a paper bag, and put about ten objects inside — all of which are of different sizes, shapes, and textures. They just have to be safe to touch and fit inside the bag. Now have your kids reach inside, feel the objects, and try to guess what they are.
Do a quick mindful minute for the hearing sense.
Have everyone get a pencil and piece of paper. Set a timer for one minute. Now have everyone close their eyes and write down all the sounds they hear in that minute.
Truly mindful souls are always poets.
This one’s for kids who are a little older. Essentially, you want to have your child take a slow mindful bite of a food they absolutely love. Then, they are to write a short poem about their taste experience.
Mindful Parenting: Frequently Asked Questions
What is mindful parenting?
Any family activities you do where you are fully present can be considered mindfulness activities. For example, eating together as a family — without phones, TVs, games, or computers at the table — can be a form of mindfulness for kids.
There are also mindfulness drawing ideas for kids, mindfulness worksheets, mindfulness games, and even mindful movements you can find with online or print resources. Check out mindfulness blogs and mindfulness magazines for more ideas. Speaking with your children's teacher in trying to get them to implement mindfulness in the classroom could be another option as well.
What is lazy parenting?
Lazy parenting isn't what it sounds to be. It is not you being lazy as a parent, but instead allowing your child the opportunity to develop self-efficacy in an effort to improve their confidence. It is all about taking a mindful approach to the situation, allowing your child to struggle and resolve things on their own without your assistance.
What are the 4 different styles of parenting?
Many thanks to the work of Diane Baumrind, done in the 1960s, she created a type of categorization of parenting styles, still referred to today. These 4 styles all have distinct names and characteristics. Those are Authoritarian or disciplinarian, permissive or indulgent, uninvolved, and authoritative. We should mention that these styles are US-centric and may not be applicable across different cultures.
If it helps, try to set a schedule for yourself; ensure you set time aside to spend with your children.