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Mindful Parenting

Life coach. Hypnotherapist. EFT, Mindfulness near me.

Parenting is tough. Fact!

As adorable as they are, the little darlings don't have an off button or come with an instruction manual. Which leaves us trying to work it all out by ourselves.

I mean , What could possibly go wrong?

The answer to that is just about anything.

Our children are now all grown up and out in the world. Obviously we love them but we really like them too. They're both kind hearted, generous and make us laugh.  They're also like chalk and cheese despite both being raised by us in similar ways. 

So I thought I'd share some of what I've learned about Mindful parenting over the last 28 years.

Feel free to ignore, steal or adapt as suits.

At the end of the day, you know your child best, trust your instincts.

The first thing I'll say and bear in mind that I have a background in education, specifically challenging behaviour, is that I believe children need boundaries.  I know that's controversial but I've seen it with our two and the countless children that I've worked with both in mainstream and residential education.

They need boundaries for the following reasons:

1 They need a safe space in which they understand the rules and consequences so that they can explore their place in the world.

2. They need something to push against to see what happens, explore choice and find out what matters to them.

3. They're not born with all the answers so they need a safe space to find their own definition of things while we model love, behaviour, problem communication and problem solving for them.

And when I say model, I don't mean dictate.children learn by watching and modelling. If you don't want them to do it, don't let them see you do it.

Parenting is most definitely not about do what I say, not do what I do.

How do we do all this?


I think the beauty of mindfulness is that it shows us who we are and when we know that, our children are less likely to trigger us.

Being mindful is a process that helps us to step back and see things as they are without having to judge them as being good or bad.

As a parent, be a curious observer, rather than feeling that you have to make everything good and wonderful and that you always have to get it right. No one gets it right all of the time, so it takes a lot of the pressure off. 

Things won't always go to plan. That's ok. Look at what you can learn from it  and what you can do so it doesn't happen again. That means you ll be less frustrated and less likely to reduce to shouting which is terrifying for anyone but especially small children. So if you know you're wound up or worn out, give yourself a break. 

If you don't have someone that can help you, get them to a park or outside where they are either in a buggy and occupied or running around so that you can rest your brain and your patience.

As they get older, leave them behind and you go for a walk. It works wonders and then you start with a fresh slate when you get back and can talk things through calmly and respectfully.

 So we've covered being aware and boundaries

Mindful parenting also involves being fully present, with our children. 

Give them your attention. Put your phone down, turn the TV off, play with them, talk to them. Open up as many avenues for communication as you can and really listen to them.

Because if they don't feel that you're listening to the small stuff - and that probably doesn't seem that important to you, but is everything to them,  then you can guarantee, they aren't going to tell you the big stuff. 

Pick your battles.

It can be overwhelming constantly adjusting and readjusting trying to keep on top of every unsavory habit they pick up, especially when the start mixing with other children, but that's where the boundaries come in and be kind to yourself.

Pick one behaviour at a time to work on. Use whatever tools works, sticker charts, sweets, magazines. You are aiming to reward positive behaviour, so heap loads of attention on praising what you want to see rather than shouting and punishing want you don't want to see. This is where boundaries helps because they have a clear understanding of what you expect from them and what will happen if they choose to continue, which is of course their right. 

Children just want attention. Good or bad it feeds that basic need but you get to choose how you are going to interact with your child. And you have to be firm. There were times I'd be in tears after having to say no or dishing out a sanction to one of ours (they never saw the tears) but when we talk about it now, they say they're glad we did it because although they didn't like being stopped or having to do something they didn't want to do they knew they were loved. That we cared enough about them to want them to be the best version of themselves.

Damn shame they weren't that enlightened as kids and could have just skipped the little s**t syndrome part.

When conflict comes up as it often will. We tried not to get angry - it didn't always work as we're only human but we tried our best and instead explained what we didn't like about their behaviour. Not them, their behaviour so that they knew it was separate to them and they were given a choice. If you do this, this will happen, if you do that, that will happen.

When our daughter went through the terrible twos, she liked a tantrum. I wasn't having that. She had every right to feel angry about something, that was totally OK, but I wanted her to express her frustration and then find a solution not just scream and shout.  

So we taught her that when she was getting irritated and needed some time out, she could go upstairs and be in her own space. 

My Dad was looking after her one day and he clearly wasn't doing what she liked because she flounce up the stairs. He asked her what she was doing and she replied very huffily, "Grandad, I'm going for a strop." 

It worked because she could take control of her situation, create some space for herself to process what she was feeling without it escalating and then, when she was ready, she'd come back down and we could talk about how she was feeling and what could be done about it.

My last tip is to stay calm. Their childhood goes past in the blink of an eyelid. It doesn't matter whether you are doing things the same way as all the other patents, it doesn't matter what they are wearing. 

What really matters is creating a safe, love filled, empowering environment for them to grow in. So be kind to yourself, take the pressure off where you can. 

When it's all getting a bit much, get a bowl or water and some cups put and dump them in the bath to play. That way, they're happy, you can find your calm and they see you managing how you feel. 

Parenting can be really challenging, so take the breaks when you can. Breathe deeply and often, be kind to yourself and know that it's okay not to have all the answers. 

Stop sweating the small stuff and try to see the bigger picture. 

Look for what you are doing well at, look for what you can be grateful for, and try to enjoy it all of it so that you learn and grow with your children.

Now I realise that I've skimmed over a lot of the issues that parents face but I just wanted to offer up some things that we found helpful as parents and I'll end with the best price of advice that I was ever given.

I was so tired after having a problem pregnancy and a premature baby and I was talking it over with my friend who as a mother of three by this time who said that "when you have children, you will always be tired, so make time for living, go out, have a date with your husband, live life and keep connected to each other and the joy of living. You can sleep when your dead."

Best advice ever and I really took it to heart. It's been how I've lived my life ever since.

If you wold like some support with integrating mindful parenting into your relationships, please get in touch.


07974 618499

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