The Cambridge dictionary explains the meaning of mindful as – deliberately aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment in order to create a feeling of calm.
The word mindful has recently been more in practice in a spiritual context and most importantly it’s widely used in therapeutic mental and physical well-being.
But does it work? Is being mindful as easy as it’s advised?
Now, think for a moment. You stepped into the house and you find your child playing his favorite FIFA game, and the conversation now is something like this:
Mum – Close the game and go study for a while. What’s with this game all the time?
Son – I just started playing mum. It’s been only 20 minutes since I started playing.
Mum – Oh really? Let me ask your sister now. (To check on him).
Son – Don’t you believe me when I’m saying I just started playing now. Now, wait, even if she says I have been playing for more than an hour, I’m not going to shut this down. NO MATTER WHAT. (Son, feels trust issue and is hurt).
Mum – Don’t you dare talk to me like that. I’m going to pull the chord out and lock the game in my cupboard for a week until you learn how to speak and behave. (Mum feels that her son is misbehaving and threatens to use a consequence to display her power).
Do you see how the conversation started with a good intention of asking the son to study but it quickly transcended into trust issues and power struggle between the mother and the son?
Do you think being mindful of the communication or the situation could have had different positive outcomes?
Mindful practice helps a person be attentive and identify when the shift in communication is taking place. It allows the person to become aware of their thoughts and emotions.
In the above instance, the mother could have paused for a second when the discussion was going off the track. and could have used a positive and constructive choice of words to ensure that her intention of the talk is met – which was to eventually teach her son the balance of play and study. To be a responsible child.
But the whole conversation exploded within minutes without either of them realizing or being aware of their emotions and unable to build the conversation with the intention they had in their mind.
Few Mindful Practices To Avoid Backtalk/ Aggression/ Tantrums:
Be Mindful of your own triggers: When you start being attentive to your emotions and thoughts, you start to realize your own triggers that put you off. This helps to avoid playing the blame game with people around you when you are in a state of stress or anxiousness.
Instead, you start moving inwards, reflecting upon your own problems and refrain yourself from venting unnecessary reactions.
Mindful Breathing For Instant Calm: This sounds silly. It did to me when someone first proposed the idea of deep breathing during instances of stress. How could someone think of deep breathing in the heat of the moment?
You could think of it otherwise. If you have the energy and the time to argue more, stress more or fight more, you might as well consider an alternate response to the situation. Just smile and concentrate on your breath. It’s easy and being conscious and in control of your reaction and response is a strength that very few possess.
Model The Behavior You Want: You can’t ask your children to do something that you don’t do it yourself. I remember an instance when a father asked his child to speak with the staff at a showroom with respect and in return, the son was quick to say, that’s how you talk with the staff in our company. The father replied back with a sharp glare.
I often hear parents advice, scold or threaten a child if they want to teach the child something. But parents fail to understand that, the basic and most essential tool of parenting which has been repeatedly mentioned in renowned parenting books, blogs, videos, research papers, etc is to – be an example.
So model the behavior that you want your child to learn. If you want them to manage their aggression, their stress, to be responsible and to be confident. You need to show them how it’s done rather than verbally loading them with big lectures and advice sessions.
Apologize when you mess up. It’s ok – No one is perfect: Be quick to put your guns down when you know you are wrong. Again show the child that mistakes are inevitable.
No one is always right. That’s one of the most important lessons in life which you can gift your child.
Else your child will always have the pressure to remain right and good. Prepare the child to handle challenging situations in life by modeling positive and assertive behavior.
The above mindful practices will go a long way in shaping your child’s life and empower him to live a calm and joyful life. Isn’t this every parent’s first wish for their child?
Mull over what you have read and if you think you can help someone who would benefit by reading this post, please share, because there is nothing more precious than gifting a child a childhood that matters.