Weekly column

Mindful parenting is to intentionally bring moment-to-moment awareness to the parent-child relationship. This will help parents focus on a long-term and positive relationship with their children.

WHY BE MINDFUL?

Parent-child conflict and psychological stress are induced when parents are less emotionally available, especially when they are busy, stressed, tired, overwhelmed or preoccupied with other thoughts. Mindfulness helps parents become better at identifying solutions to problems, self-regulating emotions, avoiding impulsive reactions, being less critical of themselves and their children, and being more aware and responsive of the child’s needs, thoughts and feelings. Mindful parenting consists of five components, which are listening with full attention, nonjudgmental acceptance, emotional awareness, compassion and self-regulation.

HOW TO BE MINDFUL?

• Listen with full attention by allowing your child to share his or her feelings (even if you disagree), this enables parents to be sensitive to their child’s verbal communication and understand them better.

• Accept the traits, attributes and behaviors of yourself and your child rather than trying to change or ignore your child’s behavior. Be supportive of your child’s emotionsand attend to their needs with love and kindness.

• Be aware of emotional triggers such as feelings or judgments from parent’s own childhood. Avoiding emotional triggers will encourage non-judgmental acceptance of self and child.

• Establish family rules and rituals to encourage bonding and to help practice mindfulness. For example, family mealtime, screen time restrictions.

• Avoid worrying about your to-do list and allow your own personal time and time for your child.

For more information, contact me, Priya Nagireddy, Smith County Extension Agent for Family and Community Health at 903-590-2980 or email at priya.nagireddy@ag.tamu.edu. Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County.

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