5 Easy Ways To Be A More Mindful Parent

Catherine Pearson

Mindfulness has been a buzzy wellness concept for years now, with evidence touting its potential impact on reducing stress and improving focus

Then there’s mindful parenting, which is kind of its own beast. By being present with your kids, the thinking goes, and slowing things down for just a bit, parents and kids are able to connect in more meaningful ways — and maybe eliminate stress for everyone.

“I think it’s really just a dedication to parenting with intention,” Kristen Race, a child psychologist and author of “Mindful Parenting,” told HuffPost. “Given our busy, hectic lives — and how incredibly busy our kids’ lives are — it’s easy to feel like you’re on a treadmill.

“We’re missing out on all of these meaningful moments with our kids,” Race added, “because we’re literally just trying to survive.”

Wondering how to make mindfulness a bigger part of your everyday? Here are five super simple ways to get started:

1. Make the most of morning drop-offs.

Any parent knows that mornings are straight-up chaos from the moment your feet hit the floor. Lunches need to be made, teeth brushed, butts wiped, clothes put on, emails answered. Alas, mindfulness won’t make that all go away. But it can alleviate the stress, even for just a minute or two.

Race recommends this simple exercise for your walk or drive to school, especially for younger kids: For one full minute, simply be quiet together and hear all of the sounds you hear. After, share what you noticed. This works even if your commute doesn’t take place in idyllic surroundings, and even if the sounds you hear are honks and sirens. “You could ask, ‘What is the farthest sound you can hear? What’s close by?’” Race said. “We don’t pay attention to that stuff.”

Another option: Ask your child to point out something (or things) they’ve never noticed before. The goal is to bring you both into the present moment together. Plus, it piques their curiosity, so by the time...

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