Tips to become a Mindful and Successful Parent
By Marta Franca, MFTI
Parenting is a life-long commitment filled with challenges and rewards. Raising children can become stressful as children go through different stages of development and experience their own academic, social and emotional struggles. Most parents want their children to be successful and achieve a healthy and happy life. However, tension and emotional challenges can arise when parents are faced with stressful situations and challenges of raising children.
There are three important points to consider in order to become a mindful and successful parent.
- Focus on your personal development.
Research shows that it’s important for parents to focus on their own personal development in order to be a better parent. To look inward and have a deeper understanding about ourselves is key to become a mindful and successful parent. When parents have no chance to process and understand their past childhood experiences, it will affect the child-parent relationship and the development of security attachment. By making sense of our personal development and childhood experiences parents are able to be present and improve their relationship with their children.
- Develop a healthy and trusting parent-child relationship.
By stopping and listening to children in a non- judgmental way, parents are contributing to the development of a trusting child-parent relationship. Parents may have different reasons and attitudes interfering with their ability to listen to their children. However, it’s important for parents to stop and listen to their children in order for them to feel heard and feel that what they have to say it’s important to you. By listening to their voices, parents are validating their children’s voices and demonstrating that their children’s view of the world is important. Children who feel heard by their parents develop a better sense of self and are able to develop strong bonds with parents.
- Rethink discipline and the importance of limit setting.
It’s important to think of discipline as teaching and not punishment. When disciplining children, parents are teaching them to reflect on their behavior and to make better choices in the future. Rethinking discipline and what you as a parent wants your children to accomplish will assist you to use discipline more effectively and appropriately setting limits. Children need structure and limit setting in order to develop a sense of control and learn what to expect in their environment.
When disciplining children, start by emotionally connecting with them. Keep calm, stop, listen and validate their feelings. Let them know they are heard by reflecting back what you heard. After connecting with them in an emotional level, ask them how they would handle the situation differently in the future (younger children will have difficulty answering it). Finally, empathically set limits by redirecting their behavior and discussing consequences. Keep in mind that, emotionally dysregulated children won’t be able to listen to what you have to say. Wait until the child is calmed to emotionally connect with them.
To be mindful about parenting is crucial in the development of becoming a successful parent. It’s important to remember that all the effort needs to come from a place of understanding, loving and caring.
We at Treehouse Family Counseling Services are here to help you becoming a mindful and successful parent. Check our website www.tcservices.org or call us at 925-820-8447