Most of us acquire our parenting skills on the fly, influenced by what we remember about the way we were parented, and by the way we have seen other parents relate to their children in everyday life or in the media. Unless we are prepared to rely on chance on whether we learn good parenting skills, it makes sense to review and adopt a well researched, carefully thought through approach to parenting. Daniel Siegel’s work on mindful parenting is one such approach.
Mindful parenting is a considered approach to parenting. We need to watch our children and be curious about what they need to thrive. We also need to watch ourselves and reflect on the way we parent so that we can avoid “knee-jerk parenting.” In order to be able to stand back and look at the way we parent, we have to be prepared to look at ourselves, our thoughts, feelings and actions, be aware of how our parenting affects us, and be curious about what it is in our experience that leads us to behave in a particular way as a parent, especially when we know that we are not at our best.