How Mindful Meditation Can Improve Your Parenting Style
“It’s our children who teach us how to be parents.” – Susie Morgenstern
Parenting children and adolescents can be one of the greatest challenges and most rewarding experiences of life. But being a parent is not an easy task. As kids are continually growing physically, emotionally and cognitively, it can be an intense experience both for the parents and the child. This is why the mental health of parents and their parenting styles play a crucial role in raising young people. How great you are as a parent will determine how well your children can process their emotions and experience overall mental and emotional well being.
Are you looking for ways to improve your parenting?
Of course; we all are! Anyone who is a parent is always looking to take their parenting skills to the next level and improve the balance in the household.
Parenting styles don’t have to complicate our lives, but which style of parenting we choose does have a direct impact on how harmonious our lives with our children are.
It’s true! With just a few simple tips on meditation and being more present, your parenting style can see an amazing transformation in just a very short time.
Mindfulness Meditation Matters
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz
Meditation is the practice of calming and centering the mind. Mindful meditation originated in India thousands of years ago as part of Hinduism.
Over the centuries, its amazing ability to transform our mind, body, and soul have been taken on by Buddhism as well as many other cultures and religions.
Today, countless cultures around the world have embraced the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits that mindfulness can bring to our personal lives.
Secrets to Stress-Free Parenting
“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.” – Sue Atkins
Let’s face it, parenting can be hard and stressful!
It can also be quite amazing and rewarding to see the best aspects of ourselves standing in front of us in the form of our children.
To be the very best parents we can be, it’s crucial that we find productive ways to manage our stress. After all, our kids learn best by watching our behavior (this is called “modeling”) and if we don’t handle stress well, neither will they.
Adding a mindful meditation practice to your life, even if it’s just a few minutes a day, can transform your parenting style in several incredible ways:
- You will feel a greater sense of calm and peace
- You will be able to ebb and flow around daily challenges more easily
- You will naturally be more patient with your child and yourself
Benefits Backed by Science
“With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD conducted a recent study on the effects of mindful meditation practice and it impacts stress and well-being. Their research looked at over 3500 people, and what they found was astonishing! 
They found that “the negative effect (of Anxiety, depression, and stress/distress) is improved in mindfulness programs”.
They also found that “mindfulness-based stress reduction reduces (physical) pain severity to a small degree” and that “Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety”.
Yet another study published by the National Institutes of Health found that a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program “may have a beneficial effect on anxiety symptoms in generalized anxiety disorder, and may also improve stress reactivity and coping”. 
Clearly many experts recognize the ability of mindful meditation practice to reduce stress and anxiety; and since parents seem to have an endless stream of stress and anxiety, this can certainly help make some positive changes.
Meditation Alters The Brain
A recent study by the University of California in Los Angeles examined the links between aging, brain deterioration, and meditation.
What they found was nothing short of amazing!
In their study, they reported that “meditation is brain-protective and associated with a reduced age-related tissue decline”. 
They went on to say that there is “scientifically solid evidence that meditation has brain (and mind) altering capacities (which can help with) healthy aging, but also pathological aging, such as is evident in mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease”.
In short, if we focus on adding just a few minutes of mindful meditation to our daily rituals we can literally transform our minds and positively impact how our brains age.
We can then apply this to all aspects of our lives, including how we parent.