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How can I be more calm with my child?

By Mindful Mamas
Mother and toddler son practicing mindfulness to a be a calmer mom and parent.

Why calm parenting is important?

Leading mindfulness researcher, Dr. Dan Siegel, explains that we have an “upstairs brain” or a “thinking brain” that controls the “downstairs brain” or the “emotional brain” where the amygdala lives. The amygdala is a powerful part of our brain that can override the thinking part when it feels threatened. We may be in our thinking brain making wise decisions throughout an entire day, but if our “emotional brain” becomes too active (let’s say our irritation, escalates with our kids) then we flip within seconds.

In those intense moments, the thinking part of our brain is literally offline and no longer able to make conscious choices because the emotional part of our brain has taken command… so we are literally out of control for a moment. This can surprise even ourselves because it happens so fast.

How do parents keep calm?

It’s okay that it’s hard sometimes, overwhelming, and that sometimes you just want to get away.

When you feel out of control, pessimistic, or just in a funk, tune into the sounds within your body. What does your breath sound like when you move air in and out through your mouth?

Try this: Breath in through your nose, listen. And out through your nose, listen.

Remind yourself that there is no better moment than the one you have right now. That even when you can’t control the outcome, you can control your response. There is always choice in your reactions. There is always time to pause. There is always abundance around you. Your negative mood, thought patterns and outlook does not need you and you don’t need it. You can release it, letting it drift out into the universe, past the moon and beyond.

Is it OK to yell at your child?

Remember: When you lose it… you are not a bad person or a bad mom. In that moment, your protective animal self is in control. If you hiss or roar at your partner or kids know it’s involuntary – an animal reaction… Fortunately, we can learn how to work with our brilliant brains and gain conscious control through the powerful practice of mindfulness.

As much as we might strive to be our best selves, it is human nature to falter and be imperfect. We simply can’t expect ourselves to be perfect. As mothers who are pulled in a million directions at once, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed; we can feel depleted at times and that means we may have moments when we’re not at our best. We may respond in less than ideal ways to those we love. We may lose it from time to time and that’s okay. You’re human and you’re doing the best you can.

When we say or do something that has a negative effect on someone else, we can always repair and reconnect–and the sooner we do this, the more tightly we can knit ourselves back together.

7 ways to stay calm and be a more present parent

  1. Deep Breathing
    Do a deep breathing practice to steady your nervous system
    Guided > Breathing > Relax > Even Breath
  2. Visualization
    Listen to a visualization meditation to picture positive images to help calm your mind
    Guided > Breathing > Rainforest Peace
  3. Affirmation: Repeat an affirmation to increase positive self-talk
    Guided > Breathing > Rainforest Peace
  4. Body Scan
    Do a quick body scan to ground into the here and now
    Guided > Breathing > Rainforest Peace
  5. Rest
    Find rejuvenating rest in the middle of your day
    Guided > Breathing > Rainforest Peace
  6. Journal
    Try 3-minute free write
    Guided > Breathing > Rainforest Peace
  7. Go For a Walk
    Take your practice to go with a walking meditation
    Guided > Breathing > Rainforest Peace

Calming Mantra for Parents

Calming mindfulness mantra affirmation for moms and parents with toddlers.

“May I surrender to the flow of life. May I accept that mothering can be messy.

May I trust myself and the inner wisdom that guides my life.

May I forgive myself, the way I forgive others. May I acknowledge my goodness and all that I do for my family.

May I live in deep gratitude for the blessing that is my life.”