Mindful Parentingby WFP Admin added on 31 July 2014, Comments Off on Mindful Parenting , posted in Blog
Our parenting journey begins with the notion that parenting is about the development and nurturing of our children. Yet, as we travel this path, at some point we come to a crossroad where we realize that parenting is just as much about the development and nurturing of ourselves.
Parenting is one of the most demanding and intense roles that we will ever take on. It can elicit feelings and bring out anger that we didn’t even know we had! With all that is involved in simply getting from day to day, sometimes the stress of parenting seems like just too much. And therein lies the opportunity for our own personal understanding and growth.
Recently much has been written and discussed about mindfulness, truly being in the moment, fully present, mindful of our intention, and observant of our practices. It can be difficult to be mindful in the midst of a crying infant in the middle of the night, a toddler who insists on doing everything “myself,” or a preschooler who refuses to cooperate. These are times when our children most desperately need our attention and understanding, and these are times when we most often do not have the internal resources to provide them with what they need.
Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, in their book Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, point out that “mindful parenting involves keeping in mind what is truly important as we go about the activities of daily living with our children. Much of the time, we may find we need to remind ourselves of what that is, or even admit that we may have no idea at the moment, for the thread of meaning and direction in our lives is easily lost. But even in our most trying, sometimes horrible moments as parents, we can deliberately step back and begin afresh, asking ourselves as if for the first time, and with fresh eyes, ‘What is truly important here?’”
At Woodinville Family Preschool you will find a community of parents devoted to developing a deeper understanding of both our children and ourselves. By joining our program you have given your family a designated, protected time during each week where your intention is to be fully present without outside stresses and distractions. Admittedly it can be stressful to be assigned to the creative arts area when it is the children’s first fingerpainting opportunity, but the situation changes completely when we approach it with the intention of observing and supporting children as they discover the sensory pleasures of a new medium.
For our staff, the time we spend at preschool with you and your children is an opportunity to develop our own mindfulness. You, too, can focus on being fully present and enjoying this time with children without the distraction of cell phones buzzing, chores needing completion, and other stresses of daily life. We all can slow down and just “be.” There is nothing to be accomplished while we are at preschool except nurturing the personal growth of ourselves and our children. What a gift this is!