Being a Mother; Sharing the Benefits of Mindful Parenting

Becoming a Mother/Parent: I’ve heard parenthood referred to as a job, I’ve never seen it that way,  Being a mother is a gift, a chance to  create a loving relationship and develop into a self-less, more compassionate and caring person. When my son was born, it was just two days after my 23rd birthday, he was the most joyful and memorable birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. I hadn’t planned on becoming a parent, but I felt comfortable with the idea and knew it was part of my destiny. My son was and is the best and most profound friend and life education I could have asked for. I grew up with him; I became a better person because of him and have developed a strength I never knew I had.

Unintentional Parenthood: Like millions worldwide, I saw my role in my son’s life by the way my parents had been with me. I saw myself as the decision maker, creator of specific guidelines and ideals that I believed were expected of a child.  From the time my son was born through his formative years being a single mom was new and trying but not so difficult. However as time went on, parenthood became a formidable process, my parents were old-fashioned and I had my own challenges with parenting that were compounded by my beliefs that I had to direct my son’s life, which caused stress and strain between my son and I. I didn’t catch on to what was really going on until later in our lives. When my son was well into adulthood, I realized how I was with him and adjusted my role from a one=sided and overseeing parent to a supportive, loving friend.

Mindful Parenting: A modern and successful method is mindful parenting. In a state of consciousness, the parent(s) strives toward open dialogue, complete acceptance and understanding; most importantly treats a child as separate person rather than a possession. It isn’t easy, but this allows our children to be who they truly are and proud of their uniqueness and a healthy relationship to develop. Adults aren’t only teaching, we are learning how to be more conscious with young people. The best approach, in my opinion, is to develop mutual respect, trust and empathy. When both the child and parent can completely trust, there is nothing that will divide the relationship, even when there are challenges. This relieves both the parent and child of the burden of performance based life and it opens the door for a purpose driven life for both parent(s) and children.

Conscious parenting that begins when the child is born becomes a way of life so that by the time they are teens, the chaos and stress that goes on around them loses its importance because they’re grounded and more inwardly connected.  It helps if parents remember that all relationships including those with ourselves are based on our unique perception of what we are seeking. It is the same for a child, they are seeing the world from a very different “pair of eyes” than an adult. That means parents ease-off, listen with an open mind with the intention of reaching a viable solution. Holding on to old habits will cause the parent and child to collide especially if the adult believes their opinion is the only answer. That way of thinking and being will only drive a wedge in the relationship, causing grief and stress.

While my journey into being a conscious parent happened later than I would have liked, our relationship has certainly benefited and become better. Being a conscious parent for me now is being aware that my son is his own person and will make choices from his perception based on his individual needs. And it is up to me to remember to mind my business, no matter how hard my ego is working to push me into old habits, I leave my selfish desires for him where they belong, in my head.

How can we realize a symbiotic, harmonious relationship with our  children starting now?  This can be the bumpiest road of growth for both the parent and the child. I’ve listed some suggestions for your consideration.

Some excerpts below are from Huffpost Online, Lisa Kring, Contributor

  • The intention must be relinquishment of control by the parent(s) to being an environment of fair agreement, this is vital in building a harmonious relationship.
  • Be present in the moment without wanting what is to be different. The more discontent parents show during this crucial period of a young person’s personal growth, the more strained the relationship will be.
  • Mindful parenting also involves decoding and addressing deeper needs of our children, rather than getting mindlessly caught up in and reactive to surface behaviors
  • Let trust lead the way is another successful way to transform a relationship and will definitely ease the stress between the parent and child.
  • Through daily practice, mindful parenting focuses on managing strong emotions, reactivity and stress, improving mindful communication, honoring sovereignty, recognizing and actively reshaping one’s mal-adaptive mental patterns, as well as cultivating compassion, loving, kindness and self-care.
  • Listen with your heart instead of with your head, refrain from judging and criticizing. Never allow external distractions to interfere with conversations, be focused and present.
  • Rather than striving for perfection as a parent, it’s easier to just be the “good enough” parent, trust me it will work out in the end. We have to remember we are all human, we make mistakes and we falter, but with mutual understanding and acceptance, the relationship will be just fine.

My son and I are as different as day and night, however I honor his differences and beliefs because they are his.  My late mother and I had many challenges and difficulties because she adhered to what she imagined I would do and be even though I strived for an open relationship with her, I failed miserably.  So, I never offer advice unless I”m asked and no matter what my son does, says or wants, it is his life, only he knows what will be best for him. This way of being has been the key to how well we get along and makes it easier to resolve any challenges we are faced with.

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.