parenting as a practice –
supporting the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development of a child throughout the various stages of their life.
Parenting as a practice is about growth. It’s about tuning in and being mindful of the child and yourself throughout the various stages of your relationship. If we allows ourselves to expand into parenting as a practice it can help to illuminate our relationship to practices such as acceptance, vulnerability, trust, forgiveness, nourishment and mindfulness, among others.
How to Start Practicing
Practice Mindfulness – Whether you create time for a meditation practice, a yoga class or some other type of contemplative practice, make space for stillness and moments of simplicity.
Set Intentions – Consciously acknowledge the type of parent you want to be and become. What are the values you hold for your parenting? What role models do you look at when you think of how you want to parent. Be intentional about what your expectations are so you know what direction you are moving. Clarify your values and set an intention for how parenting looks when you are living your values as a parent.
Practice Vulnerability – For many, becoming a parent unearths a depth of vulnerability that they have never experienced before in their lives. Brené Brown defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Some might also use those same words to define parenting. Through a practice of vulnerability parents can learn how to embrace the fears and discomfort that arise with parenting and use those moments as opportunities for transformation and growth.
Practice Self-Compassion – Parenting can be challenging and well meaning parents can be hard on themselves when they are unable to fulfill the desires they have for themselves or for their children. Parenting while working and trying to raise happy, respectful children in a complex world can feel depleting. A practice of self-compassion puts the focus on self-kindness, mindfulness and recognizing that these challenges are part of our shared humanity.
Find Guidance – These days there are so many resources to assist you on your mindful parenting journey. Parenting coaches, counselors, workshops, books, videos and much more. You don’t have to do it alone. Parenting is a practice and parenting takes practice. Be vulnerable and self-compassionate. Ask for help. Build a supportive and loving community around you. You will feel better and your child will benefit from the strength and diversity of the group.