One Simple Trick Can Help You Be A Better Parent

There are countless pressures and stressors put on families today, and parents often feel lost about how to simply take time to slow down.

There are hundreds of parenting tips in books and online, and countless opinions from friends and family on how to be the best parent possible.

But perhaps the most important thing a parent can do is to take a moment to breathe, reflect, and regroup.

Meditation is often viewed as one of those “out there” philosophies, conjuring up images of sitting on a cushion and chanting nonsensical words.

But meditation is a vital parenting tool, and includes prayer and simple quiet times of reflection which can benefit both parent and child.

Green Child Magazine reported on some of the positive effects gained by taking a moment out of a busy day to meditate — a time to reflect and calm down can be the best thing you ever do for your child.

Being non-reactive:

Learning to pause and listen to the information contained within thought is an invaluable parenting tool.

Mindfulness:

Mindfulness simply means we are aware of the choices we are making in the moment. This kind of awareness helps us to be more purposeful in our parenting decisions.

Growing compassion:

An expanding sense of self naturally leads to a more open heart. By stilling the mind, releasing ego identification, and expanding our awareness we are able to access our inner compassion

Being present in the moment:

It takes us away from a futuristic focus and plants us squarely in the only moment we ever have with our child…NOW.

Calmness:

Our own cultivation of peace will influence our children more than any other single factor.

Prayer is also meditation in that it grants parents a few calm moments to bring awareness of their stresses and needs, and to ask for the patience and calmness to be a model for our children.

Being prayerful as a family and teaching your child to build their faith through prayer is also an incredibly powerful parenting tool.

Prayer teaches your child to give their cares and concerns to God, and realize that not everything will be in their control.

Prayer and peaceful family moments of meditation are a great coping technique for the stresses of everyday life — for both parent and child — and will strengthen family relationships and shared experiences.

More than anything else, prayer and meditation teaches parents to live in the moment and enjoy each day with our children.

As parents, we often focus on just getting through the day, thinking ahead to a far away time when our children will be more self-sufficient, easier, and calmer.

But fast-forwarding through these precious years causes parents to miss out on the special times of each day as a family.

Growing up, our mothers told us to “take a deep breath and calm down.”

This holds true for today’s busy parents, and will teach your children a valuable life lesson on staying calm during stressful situations — and will help you enjoy every crazy moment of your parenting journey.

3 Comments

  1. Excellent advice.

  2. Margo Haynes says:

    This is an excellent article! There are however, two incidents I would like to share from hindsight, now being 80 years old and having raised five children.
    1.) Always admit to your children when you are wrong or unfair & apologize! I had just inherited 2 antique cut glass candle holders w/ruby glass chimneys & I kept them on an huge mahogany buffet & told my oldest son, that I’d clean & dust there, the other 3 were gone for the day (or so I thought). Not two hours later I walked through the room & one piece of the ruby glass was shattered. I whirled around & went to Nick’s room angry, opened the door him & chewed him out. Then I saw a friend of his that had come in through his sliding glass door that had been out of my sight. I closed the door and left. As I re-entered the living room where the broken glass was to clean it up, my youngest son age 11 came in from outside crying, he said “Mom, Iwanted to surprise you & was dusting all of the furniture & I broke the top to Aunt Nez’s antique candle holder. I looked at him full of shame for what I’d done to his older brother & I realized that no piece of ruby glass meant more to me than my children & their self esteem. I told PK that it it wasn’t earth shattering, accidetns happen & thanked him for being honest & telling me.I turned around and went back to Nick’s room, knocked on his door & he opened it. I went in & in front of his friend, I told him that PK had just told me that he had done it. I told my son that I was wrong to accuse him in front of his friend, that I should have asked if he’d done it & I apologized to him & his friend for my behaviour & asked their forgiveness. As I closed the door I heard his friend say, “Wow, Man I can’t believe that! My folks would choke to death before admitting to me that they were wrong, much less apologize.”

    2. I was a product of my mother’s first marriage that ended badly. She married again when I was 18 month’s of age to a man that was such a good father, that it has always so very easy for me to believe & look at God as a loving heavenly Father, Yet I grew up with a mother, that where I was concerned, always found fault with me. Through the years, out of the corner of my eye, sometimes I would catch her watching me with such hatred & I always wondered what I had done for her to hate me so much. When daddy was dying, I finally asked her what I had ever done to make her hate me so. She denied her hatred, telling me that she loved me. I softly said “mother all of my life I have seen you out of the corner of my eye when you were unaware I caught you focusing on me and there was so much hatred in your eyes that you could almost seem the hate coming out of every pore of your body like sweat. She began to cry and apologized and said “All I could see when looking at you was him” meaning my birth father. She never saw or thought of my resemblance to her. The only difference between a photo of her at 17 & one of me at 17 would the the style of clothing and hair. If you’ve had a tragic marriage and there’s a child, if you bear that ex-spouse any hatred never transfer that to your child for that child cannot be faulted for resembling or being a product of the one person you hate.
    3.) Today, this world is so full of bitterhess & hatred, sadly even among Christians. In Mark 11:23-26, Jesus is teaching His disciples about praying, verses 25-26 tell us “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven, may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” That verse is such a critical verse for Christians to always bear in mind. As Christians, we know that He died for our sins, & His blood covers them. We are asked to do a much each easier thing than dying on a cross; swallow our pride & simply forgive those that have wronged us. Not a single moment of life is guaranteed to any of us. My aunt was simply walking across her living room and dropped dead to the floor. Search your hearts now, especially if you profess to be a Christian. Is there any bitterness or hatred in your heart for another? There’s an old saying regarding marraige, “never go to bed angry with one another.” Better yet to never go to bed angry, bitter or hating another human being, I remember somewhere way back when I was growing up, attending a little Baptist church, a much older person, during a revival, saying how important it was to “stay ‘fessed up daily.” May each and every one of you have a blessed day.
    Thank you for allowing me to share.

  3. Emily Slingluff says:

    The way to be a super parent is to be on the child’s side, rather than on some opposing side. A Primer for Positive Parenting by Emily Slingluff can change your life, the parent doing what comes naturally, being kind.

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