Why Mindful Parenting Isn’t One Size Fits All
In this post I want to talk about mindful parenting, and why the approach isnt a one size fits all philosophy.
Parents often want to know what to do and say to their children in specific situations. There are a lot of parenting books, blogs and websites out there telling us. But does this one size fits all parenting philosophy really work?
If you have a child who is very tactile, and needs to be held and your reading a book about keeping your distance from your toddler when they are in the throws of strong emotions, is that really the best thing for your child? Probably not, although it may be on some days. May not on others. Maybe it depends on where they are, who they’re with, what the emotions are about etc.
I think the reason that its sometimes difficult in mindful parenting to give specifics out is because there is so much it depends on. What kind of child do you have, what kind of personality, what is your personality, what about the other people present, what about family dynamics, where abouts is it taking place? Etc etc.
For me, I believe what works is respecting you child, respecting their feelings and respecting their needs in that moment. What works is putting the relationship with your child and other family members as top priority and ‘what the experts or say’ as a meagre second.
The best thing to do is ask yourself some questions. What does my child really need? How can I provide that? Are there other solutions I haven’t thought of? Can I prevent this happening again by being more prepared / thinking outside the box etc?
Get to know your child as much as possible. What are their interests, what are their best times of the day? How do they like to spend their time? Are they sensory based, physical, visual, auditory etc? Do they need lots of social interaction outdoors or prefer to be at home? Find interesting activities to share. Ask their opinions on things and genuinely hear them. Take them seriously. Notice their moods.
To me, mindful parenting is a hands on, presence based philosophy. It’s about knowing your child and doing your best to guide them on their journey while meeting their needs in the most joy filled, loving and thoughtful way. And when we make mistakes, its about being gentle on ourselves and getting back on track as soon as possible.
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