Expert Parenting Advice
Practical parenting tips and advice from experts around the world

Be a more mindful parent

Last night, after putting the kids to bed, my husband came into our room and sighed "Why do they have so much energy in the evenings when I have so little?"

I laughed, because it feels like that with kids, doesn't it? Like there is this "energy mismatch" - they go slow when we want to go fast, and they go fast when we want to go slow.

We just live at different speeds, and this can make parenting very challenging. But it is also an opportunity for us to become more mindful and live more in-the-moment.

This is what Shirley Pastiroff, a therapist and author of The Mindful Parent: How to Stay Sane, Stay Calm and Stay Connected to Your Kids, recently reminded me about:

And because we're moving so fast these days, I think the biggest gift we can give ourselves as parents is kindness to ourselves, because it's really hard to bring up children, because children move slowly.

And I mean, they run around fast, but they move in the world very present to the moment, and we as parents are moving in a very different speed. And so giving ourselves the gift of slowing down in terms of recognizing our internal state is actually a win-win. That means we as parents get to be in the moment a little bit more.

That makes our relationship with our children a whole bunch easier. They then start to actually do what they're told, which is one of the main things we want to happen. And we get to experience a richer life rather than a poorer life from having our children, because it's almost like they invite us back into that slightly more mindful, in-the-moment world that we've often let go of in the hurly-burly of modern Western life.

Shirley Pastiroff

In my interview with Shirley, she explains how you can learn to be more present, in-the-moment, from your children, and how this can help you stay calm and collected when they just don't want to cooperate.

Check out the full interview with Shirley Pastiroff, in our ebook How To Get Kids To Listen, available for free download here.