The next time your kids are misbehaving and giving you a hard time, try putting a mindful spin on the situation. Mighty Mommy shares four ways to get mindful with your discipline.
3. Tune In
As busy parents, most of us can relate to having one of “those days” where we return home from an exhausting day at work with cranky kids, hungry pets, nothing easy to prepare for dinner, and a phone call from our spouse saying there’s a work emergency and not to expect him home until well after the kids are in bed. Ugh! It’s going to be a long night.
Even though you’re beat at the end of a very long day, don’t forget your child might have endured a similar day herself. Kids run full throttle themselves during the school week and in many instances don’t have any downtime due to the rigid schedules our families keep.
When we learn to be mindful of even our hectic parenting moments, it affords us the opportunity to tune in to our child and adjust our discipline strategies. For example, one of my sons is extremely sensitive to noise and anything that is too fast-paced. When I become super busy trying to rush slow kids along and get a little too loud and excited with my instructions, he just shuts down and tunes me out. I used to think he was ignoring me on purpose, but the truth of the matter was he just couldn’t process all the commotion, so he would withdraw and not pay attention to what I was asking of him.
When we slow down and take the time to see what makes our child tick, we can better understand what his needs are, which will ultimately help him comply because now we’re on the same page.
4. Allow for Consistency
I’ve always been a firm believer that consistency is key with parenting. Whether you’re implementing change, enforcing new rules, or holding down the fort with existing house guidelines, if you waiver and don’t hold your ground your children will take it and run—away from whatever you’re trying to instill. It’s only natural that they will manipulate and take advantage of any opportunity that strays you off course.
In the Pyschology Today article Do Engaged Parents Produce Better Kids, there is discussion of three types of parenting styles and how those styles relate to a child’s aggressiveness and “acting out” in school. The comparisons of parenting styles were interesting, but the common denominator in raising happy, confident kids was to practice consistency at all times. “Consistency cultivates security, and security breeds better adults eventually.”
That’s where mindfulness can be such a positive lifestyle tool when it comes to disciplining your kids. Being mindful allows us to quiet ourselves and get centered so we don’t necessarily go off the deep end when our kids push the limits. (Or so we hope!) If you get into the practice of taking the time to live in the moment with your kids, you’ll be better equipped to stay committed to the disciplinary rules and guidelines you’ve established in your home because you’ll maintain your cool and consistency on a regular basis.
Have you embraced any mindfulness practices that enhance your parenting experience? Share your thoughts in the comment section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy or post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. You can also connect with me on Twitter @MightyMommy or email me at email@example.com.