Today I wanted to share one of my favorite parenting/mindfulness exercises from a book called Mindful Discipline by Shauna Shapiro and Chris White. The following passage is paraphrased and is more powerful with an understanding of the authors' definition of mindful discipline. I highly recommend reading the entire book in more detail.
At its foundation, mindful discipline shifts the focus from behaviors to the underlying needs of children. It invites more mindfulness in parenting, to attend to each present moment with a kind and curious attitude. To be fully present with our children, attune to them, and see them clearly. We need to first discipline ourselves before we can discipline our children.
Sit comfortably with eyes closed. Get connected with your breath, body, and ground beneath you.
Think of ten to twenty qualities you hope your child will develop.
Create an authentic list that feels true to you and your child.
Open your eyes and write down your list.
Take time with each item on your list. Think of how genuinely you want each aspiration for your child.
Take a few deep breaths, and when your'e ready, let any attachment you have to this outcome gently float away.
Your compass has been set, but the ultimate end has been let go.
You can move forward in a relaxed way, trusting the intelligent unfolding of life.
Revisit your list often. Revise your list as needed.
Use this list as your compass when you make discipline decisions.
Connect with your long-term intentions for your children
so that you can raise your children with purpose and integrity.