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Child Mindfulness

How to be more present with your child: 8 simple tips.

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As parents, we all know how challenging it can be to juggle our responsibilities. All whilst trying to be fully present with our kids. Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to get caught up in distractions, especially our mobile phones.

But fear not, being present with your kids is possible, and it starts with mindfulness and mindful parenting. Here are some valuable tips to help you cherish quality time with your children and create meaningful connections.

No Phones with Kids

It’s all too common to get lost in the digital world, but our children deserve our undivided attention. Make a conscious effort to put your phone away when you’re spending time with your kids. Let them feel valued and important by being fully present in the moment. This simple act of giving your children your full attention can make a world of difference in your relationship with them.

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to feel the constant pull of notifications and messages. However, when you set aside distractions and truly engage with your child, you create a safe and nurturing environment. This can then foster open communication and bonding.

Schedule Fun Time

Life can get busy, but scheduling dedicated fun time with your kids can make a world of difference. Block out this time on your calendar, so you don’t have to worry about work or other commitments. By setting aside this special time, you can be fully present and engaged, creating beautiful memories with your children.

Life is full of responsibilities, but don’t forget to prioritise moments of joy and playfulness with your child. It could be playing games or going on a nature walk. Even engaging in creative activities together, these moments of fun foster a strong emotional connection and create lasting bonds.

Say No to Other Things to Say Yes to Your Kids

We often face conflicting priorities, but when it comes to our children, they should always come first. Be strong enough to say no to other distractions when you know your kids need you. Instead of picking up the phone when you shouldn’t, prioritise your children’s needs and be there for them wholeheartedly.

Saying no to distractions allows you to say yes to the present moment with your child. Embrace the opportunity to be fully present and create meaningful interactions. Remember, your child won’t remember the text message you replied to, but they will cherish the moments you spent together.

Notice When You’re Not Being Mindful

Mindfulness begins with awareness. Take notice of moments when you feel less present with your kids. Recognizing these moments allows you to make a conscious effort to do better.

It’s okay to acknowledge that you’re not feeling mindful. By doing so, you can actively work on being more present in your children’s lives.

It’s normal to experience moments of distraction or preoccupation. But, by being aware of these instances, you can gently bring yourself back to the present moment. By taking some deep breaths and focusing. Practice self-compassion as you cultivate mindfulness in your parenting journey.

Practice Just Listening to Your Child

As parents, we instinctively want to help and fix things for our children. However, sometimes all they need is for us to listen attentively without jumping in with solutions. Practice the art of just listening to your child, giving them the space to express themselves fully. By being a mindful listener, you can better understand your child’s feelings and needs.

Listening is a powerful tool in connecting with your child on a deeper level. Allow them to express themselves without interruption. Let them know that their thoughts and feelings are valued. By actively listening, you create a safe and supportive space for your child to share their emotions.

Schedule “Me” Time

Feeling overwhelmed and stressed can hinder our ability to be present with our kids. It’s crucial to take care of yourself too. Schedule “me” time to recharge and refresh.

Don’t feel guilty about taking this time for yourself; it’s essential for your well-being. When you prioritize self-care, you’ll have the mental space to be fully present when spending time with your child.

“Me” time is not selfish; it’s an investment in your overall well-being as a parent. It could be reading a book, taking a walk or indulging in a hobby. Regardless, this time for yourself allows you to show up as your best self for your child.

Early Bedtimes

Establishing early bedtimes not only ensures that your child gets enough sleep. It also allows you to have some precious “me” time as a parent. Utilize this quiet time to unwind, engage in self-care, or pursue activities that bring you joy.

By taking care of yourself, you can approach parenting with a more mindful and present mindset. This is one of the most simple pieces of parenting advice.

Early bedtimes create a peaceful transition from the busy day to quiet evenings. It also provides an opportunity for you to recharge. This way, you wake up refreshed and ready to be fully present with your child the next day.

Childhood Doesn’t Last Forever

As parents, we all have moments where we may feel overwhelmed or frustrated with certain tasks, such as changing a diaper. However, remind yourself that childhood doesn’t last forever. Embrace each moment, even the challenging ones, as they are fleeting and will soon be cherished memories. Practicing mindfulness helps you appreciate the little moments and create a deeper connection with your child.

Embracing mindfulness and mindful parenting can transform the way you engage with your child and strengthen your bond. Being fully present with your kids allows you to savor every precious moment of parenthood. Through this, you can create a lifetime of beautiful memories together.

At Pareful, we understand the struggles of being a parent, and we’re here to support you on your mindful journey. We provide valuable tools and resources for a more connected and joyful parenting experience.

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‘I don’t like being a mum’: Embracing the challenges of motherhood.

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Motherhood is a journey filled with highs and lows, a rollercoaster of emotions, and an undeniable love that knows no bounds. However, let’s be honest; not every day is a breeze, and it’s okay to admit that some days you don’t like being a mum.

As a mother, you are juggling multiple roles, responsibilities, and expectations, all while trying to maintain your sanity and well-being. The pressure to be a good mom, the internal struggle to balance everything, and the mental toll it takes can leave you feeling overwhelmed and questioning yourself. Yet, amidst the challenges, remember that you are not alone, and every mother, at some point, faces similar feelings.

Accept That Parenting Is Challenging

Being a mum is not easy. Balancing family members, your role as a good mum, and your mental health can be overwhelming. This is especially challenging if you are a stay-at-home mum. But take a deep breath and repeat this affirmation: “I am doing my best, and that’s enough.”

Accepting that motherhood comes with its challenges doesn’t make you a horrible mum; it makes you human. Not every moment will be hard, so take the time to notice and embrace mindfully at least five positive moments each day. It could be your child’s giggle, a loving gesture, or a moment of pure joy.

Moreover, seeking help and support doesn’t mean you are failing as a mother. Reach out to family, friends, or support groups when you feel overwhelmed. Having someone to talk to or share your experiences with can make a world of difference. Nurture your mental health and seek assistance when needed.

Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine to stay grounded. Start with a few minutes of mindful breathing or meditation each morning. Throughout the day, take mindful breaks by focusing on your breath or practicing gratitude. Embrace the present moment and let go of worries about the past or future.

Become Mindfully Present in Motherhood

With endless responsibilities as a mother, it’s easy to be physically present but mentally elsewhere. Mindfulness can change that. When you engage in motherly duties, be fully present in the moment. Engage your senses, listen attentively, and cherish those fleeting moments.

Set aside dedicated time for mindful bonding with your kids. Whether it’s reading a story together, going for a nature walk, or enjoying playtime, being mindfully present during these moments can create lasting memories and deepen your connection with your children.

Practice mindful breathing to calm your mind and body when overwhelmed or emotionally triggered. Take a few deep breaths, focus on your breath, and let go of tension or stress. By grounding yourself in the present moment, you can respond to challenges with patience and composure.

Another mindful practice to consider is journaling. Write down your thoughts and feelings, allowing yourself to process emotions in a non-judgmental way. Journaling can be a therapeutic outlet for expressing your innermost thoughts and gaining clarity as a mother.

Understand Your Expectations

Before becoming a mother, you may have had certain expectations about motherhood. It’s essential to examine those expectations and ask yourself if they were realistic given your knowledge at the time.

If your expectations don’t match reality, it’s okay to acknowledge that and let go of guilt or disappointment. Motherhood is a journey of growth, and it’s okay to adapt and adjust. Be gentle with yourself and remember that you’re doing your best.

To manage feelings of regret or resentment, consider seeking professional support, such as talking to a therapist or counselor. They can provide a safe space to explore your emotions and help you navigate the complexities of motherhood.

A Mindful Journey to Motherhood

In the midst of the daily challenges of motherhood, mindfulness can be your anchor, helping you embrace emotions and experiences. At Pareful, we understand the struggles, the ups and downs, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Mindfulness is not about being perfect; it’s about being kind to yourself and finding peace in the present moment. As you navigate the journey of motherhood, remember that you’re not alone, and there is a mindful path to enjoying motherhood even on tough days.

So, take a moment for yourself, breathe, and explore how mindfulness can help you cherish the joys of motherhood while navigating its challenges. Embrace motherhood mindfully, and let Pareful be your ally on this incredible journey.

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Let’s talk competitive parenting.

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Competitive parenting arises from the desire to ensure the best possible development of your children. However, it is easy to see your children too much as an extension of your own ego.

Most parents care deeply about doing a good job raising their children and it’s therefore tempting to make comparisons with other parents and other children to try to see whether the development of your child is ‘on track.’ ‘Good’ parenting has become quite complex and ‘success’ is assessed in a wide range of areas: academic, social, musical, athletic, spiritual, artistic, etc. 

There is also the danger of trying to see parenting as a ‘mechanistic’ input/output model with predictable outcomes. The extreme end of this is the ‘tiger mum’ approach that became popular in 2010s. It assumed that strict parenting characterised by discipline and commitment to excellence focusing on academic achievements creates ‘successful’ children. However, recent research suggest that tiger parenting does not produce high-achieving child prodigies but leaves children with social and psychological issues. This is not to say that parents shouldn’t be ambitious about educating their children. But it is important to keep a balance between the different educational goals and not to sacrifice the child’s happiness and mental wellbeing for pure academic success. 

Parents should also avoid seeing their children as an extension of their own ego or as the ultimate luxury accessory. While our children are the biological result of our gene pool, they are individuals in their own right and should be nurtured to develop their personality.  

The ‘concerted cultivation’ of children can lead to a sense of competition that hurts both children and parents. It makes parents feel anxious, inadequate, and critical of their kids. When parents feel anxious about how they or their children will be evaluated, they tend to behave in more controlling ways. Children who perceive higher levels of criticism from parents also report more feelings of depression and anxiety. At its worst, competitive parenting puts tremendous pressure on children, because the underlying message is that the child needs to achieve in order to prove that the parenting is successful.

It takes a conscious effort to resist the pull of competitive parenting. We need to recognise that our children are not lumps of clay to be moulded. They are each unique constellations of strengths and weaknesses, interests and aversions. They are shaped not just by us, their parents, but also by their own choices, experiences, and other relationships.

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