My wife Sarah and I have two little boys, aged nine and seven. Jackson and Will have given our lives new meaning in ways that any parent knows you simply cannot put into words. At the same time, they’ve injected new challenges that only parents can understand.
In the past six months, I’ve heard more about mindful parenting than I can digest. It’s important because research links mindfulness training to less anxiety, depression and acting out in kids. While some of it’s been wonderful and insightful advice, others have been on the precious and perfect world side of things. As an increasing number of us become dual income households, mindful parenting has more to do with the relationship with your child, opening up communication and setting boundaries, than it does with bringing your child up “perfectly.” Because that ain’t possible.
For skeptics looking for a few basic pointers on mindful parenting, try picking one routine in your family and start there. Sarah and I started with movie night. Here are a few tips that have made a huge difference with a small family tradition: