These are challenging times. Kids are stressed and have been missing the normal times. Parents have been raising kids with incredible resilience and strength. Many of them cancelled their in-person vacations. They delved deeply into innovating and creating an indoor routine for their kids. What I have learnt from parent stories is that many of them navigated challenges with adaptability. I interviewed some of them and asked them what made them have an expression of joy along with work from home calls and online classes of kids. Most of them practised mindfulness i.e., focused on the present moment rather than worrying about the future of their kids.
Manpreet Kaur, a London-based life coach and a mindful parent said “Mindfulness is not something that comes naturally to us because as humans we have a tendency to compare ourselves with others all the time. You have to call for awareness. For me, mindful parenting meant listening to my children with no distractions and being non-judgmental towards children as well as myself. It also meant to be aware of my and their emotions to avoid any automatic reactions. To me, self-regulating parent-child relationships mean to be more tolerant of and supportive of their emotional displays rather than dismissing them and finally be compassionate towards them and myself. The focus should be on effort rather than results”.
There are some of the ways which helped parents and kids manage their stress during the pandemic. For example:
- Taking some moments to practice breathing.
- Exercising together.
- Encouraging kids to practice gratitude.
- Having some playtime during the evening.
- Adding proper nutrition to the diet.
- Practising healthy tech routine: No use of devices before sleep, time-limits for social media, and staying away from phone/tv while having food.
- Soaking up sunlight when possible.
- Considering sleep as the most powerful relaxant.
- Most importantly, having close conversations with kids and reassuring them that they are safe, healthy, and much loved.
Like mindful parents, let our kids know that they are resilient to care of themselves, others and the planet. Let us all take some moment to remember all the brilliant, brave, parents around the world for raising kids mindfully during the pandemic.