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Buddhism for Mothers: Parenting Mindfully

April 24, 2012

While reading chapter two, Parenting Mindfully, this week I kept thinking of the upcoming Screen-Free Week .  What better way to help yourself to parent mindfully than to turn off the screens?  When we’re not spending so much time preoccupied looking at various screens, perhaps we’ll take advantage of the opportunity to actually see our children instead.

The point that stuck with me the most from this week’s chapter is how mindfulness can help us to truly connect with our children, see them as they are.  So often adults (not just parents) project their own hopes/desires/judgements onto children:  “She is so _____”  If we are being mindful, we may realize some of the attributes we give to our children, especially the negative ones, are our own delusions rather than what is true.  A present mind is more able to meet each moment anew and more clearly see what is required of each unique situation.  Perhaps our over-tired toddler isn’t going through the “terrible twos”* and being contrary just for the sake of giving you a hard time; perhaps he is struggling to express himself and needs your patience now more than ever.

I also enjoyed the section on mindfulness as a way to conserve energy.  How much energy do we waste in a day being distracted by worries or other negative emotions?  I must admit, worrying is probably the thing that keeps me the most from leading a mindful life.  By recognizing that negative emotions are transient and worrying is not only distracting but a waste of energy, we can simply give our thoughts notice without judgement and then let them pass.  It is important to remember not to “beat yourself up” when you catch yourself caught up in your own thoughts.  Be patient.  Mindfulness takes practice.

Which part of this week’s chapter did you enjoy most?
Are you considering Screen-Free Week for your family?

*I very much dislike this expression and find that a bit of patience will take you far.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. nancy permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:57 am

    I agree with your entire post! I would love to go screen free, but I have a husband who has an everynight ritual of Tv before he goes to bed (at least I can do this with the kids). The part of this chapter that sticks out to me is the example of karma. It made a whole new meaning for me and makes complete sense! I also have really enjoyed the point to take each new situation as a new situation and to not cnnect to past situations. It really keeps your mind fresh!

    • April 29, 2012 7:46 pm

      I love her explanation of Karma as well. I always thought that the mainstream thought on Karma sort of missed the point (coming from a place of selfishness rather than generousity).
      Good luck going screen-free!

  2. April 27, 2012 8:30 pm

    I am going to try to go as screen free as possible. This will be hardest for me, my husband and son won’t even notice. I must be at the computer for work but other than that I hope to take a break from the screens. As for mothering mindfully I totally agree with you and the author. Funnily after reading this chapter and starting my day determined to be more mindful the universe served me up a whopper of a day. Talk about opening yourself up to a lesson and getting an advanced course! The mindfulness helped that day. It reminded me how much I miss my yoga practice, maybe screen free week will be the perfect time to get back on the mat.

    • April 29, 2012 7:58 pm

      I’ve also realized that practicing mindfulness not only helps with challanging moments but whole days as well. I’m now more able to recognize when I’ve gotten stuck in a negative thought pattern and am then able to let it go and change course.
      Yoga. *sigh* I miss it too. I’m thinking of learning how to do yoga with my little ones rather than scramble to find time to be able to do it on my own.

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