How to Build Trust and Connection with Mindful Parenting
I’m sure you’ve read or heard about mindfulness. If you’ve wondered what all the buzz is about and are curious about how practicing mindfulness and mindful parenting can produce real-life benefits for you and your family, this story is for you.
My 12-year-old son lied to me. Strike one. But then he lied to me about the same thing again — directly to my face.
The second time he lied, I already knew the truth. For his sake, I’ll keep the details out. But knowing that he looked me in the eyes and deliberately misled me truly upset me.
In the past, I would’ve let my ego get the best of me. I would’ve been furious and would’ve let him know how angry I felt by the decibel of my voice. And most likely, I would’ve finished my rant by grounding him.
A Moment to Pause and Breathe
But instead, I took a deep breath.
Honestly, I was frustrated. I didn’t understand why he lied about what he did the first time, much less twice and to my face to boot.
I wanted to yell. I wanted to let him know that I found him out and that I wasn’t blind or stupid. But instead, I closed my eyes.
It took some work, but I moved my awareness away from the angry thoughts in my head and onto the sound of my breath. Not the staggered chest breath that I took when he lied to me, but a conscious breath.
I closed my mouth, breathed into my nose and followed my breath down into my belly.
I Responded Rather Than Reacted
With my heart rate lower, I considered the situation.
Yes, he lied. Yes, lying is unacceptable. But, the subject of the lie was something I wanted to have a constructive discussion about in addition to the lying itself.
I could see that I had not one, but two choices:
- I could let him know how angry I felt that he betrayed my trust and show him who’s boss.
- I could use this as an opportunity to talk to him about trust. I could let him know that he’d compromised my ability to trust him and that he’d need to earn my trust back.
I chose option 2.
The Magic of Mindfulness and Mindful Parenting
This is the text I got this morning after he got on the bus …
Needless to say, my emotions were not limited to just one. But surprise was the first emotion I felt when I received such a heartfelt text from my preteen son who often has a difficult time expressing his feelings and emotions with words.
Mindful Parenting: Where to Begin
If you want to become a more mindful parent, but aren’t sure where to begin, here are two things to get you started.
Change begins with awareness. Here’s a list of some ways practicing it can benefit you. Mindfulness can help you:
- Feel a deeper connection to the most authentic you
- Build trust and connection with your loved ones
- Better manage stress
- Recognize fear-based thinking and choose love-based thinking
- Develop greater emotional resilience
- Gain a better understanding of the importance of self-care
- Experience greater joy and fulfillment in your daily life
There’s an easy-to-remember, easy-to-follow 4-step process that can strengthen your ability to thoughtfully respond to your kids rather than emotionally react. The beauty of this practice is that it’s NOT an exercise that requires you to set aside a certain amount of dedicated time to do. Rather, it’s a practice you can implement in your everyday interactions and over time, will naturally become a way of life!
To get your FREE copy that you can print, post as a reminder (and even teach your kids) go to https://pamelapowerscanlon.com/blog/family/mindful-parenting/
Family health advocate, author, and creator of the award-winning new children’s book, The Super Dynamos, Pamela Power Scanlon, is educating families on how to support their children to feel healthy and happy from the inside out! To learn more about her book, workshops or classes, or to read more articles like this, visit www.pamelapowerscanlon.com. You may contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE: Pamela Power Scanlon, M.S.