Mums and dads urged to be more mind­ful with kids

7 Days in Dubai - - FAMILY -

ar­ent­ing is a 24/7 job - one that en­tails a lot of emo­tional and men­tal chal­lenges. And the strug­gle is the same whether you’re a reg­u­lar Joe or a fa­mous celebrity. Os­car-nom­i­nee Kate Hud­son, for ex­am­ple, re­cently penned an es­say on how she of­ten feels like a bad mum to her two kids. She ad­mits: “Some days I feel like I should win best mum of the day award, and some days I find my­self do­ing strange things that don’t have any real pur­pose, in far­away cor­ners in my house, and I re­alise I am lit­er­ally and de­lib­er­ately hid­ing from my chil­dren.” She’s not alone. Grammy-win­ning singer Car­rie Un­der­wood opened up about al­ways be­ing guilty for hav­ing a full-time ca­reer. “We have a nanny who helps out, es­pe­cially when we’re on the road. But I’d feel guilty ask­ing some­one to watch him at home while I run to the gro­cery store.” This feel­ing of guilt and in­ad­e­quacy is nor­mal, says mum-of-three Mona Ataya. The founder of Mid­dle East-based shop­ping site Mumz­world said: “When you leave your child, you feel bad that you’re not do­ing enough, even if you truly are.

“Miss­ing your child when you’re at the of­fice is a good sign. You should start to worry when you don’t miss your child or you get used to be­ing away. That’s when you be­come de­sen­si­tised to your child’s needs.”

Ataya agrees that pri­ori­tis­ing and fo­cus can help us be­come bet­ter par­ents. “I’m see­ing this more now - a lot of moth­ers, who are at home with their kids, feel frus­trated at be­ing at home, so they are al­ways on their mo­biles. And I think that’s much worse than be­ing phys­i­cally ab­sent. You’re there, but not re­ally with them, and that’s a bad mes­sage you’re send­ing to your child.”

Ac­cord­ing to UK-based mind­ful­ness ex­pert Tessa Watt, stud­ies show that mind­ful­ness can re­duce lev­els of stress hor­mone. It’s help­ful to take five to 10 min­utes a day to “recharge your bat­ter­ies” by paus­ing, con­sciously breath­ing, con­nect­ing to your senses, and be­ing there for your chil­dren. Tessa ex­plains: “A lot of the time, we’re not in this mo­ment - the mind is tied up in knots wor­ry­ing about some­thing else we need to do, go­ing through our to-do lists, or re­play­ing things from the past. "There’s of­ten a sense of rush­ing to get to the next thing, and mind­ful­ness is sim­ply train­ing our­selves to stop and be here. “That’s re­ally help­ful with chil­dren, be­cause if their par­ents aren’t there for them, then who is?" To lend a help­ing hand, Tessa and fa­mous Bri­tish ra­dio DJ Edith Bow­man have launched Quil­ity, an app with ex­er­cises and guides on mind­ful par­ent­ing, re­la­tion­ships, deal­ing with anx­i­ety and more. Tessa says there’s noth­ing mys­ti­cal about mind­ful­ness ex­er­cises, it’s just a mat­ter of pay­ing at­ten­tion to our body and our breath, and any­one can do it. Edith swears by it and adds that th­ese sim­ple ex­er­cises can help mums stay bal­anced and re­spond to chal­lenges in a pos­i­tive way: "I find mind­ful­ness clears my head and re­minds me to take a breath be­fore I re­act to a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion.” And it’s im­por­tant for par­ents not to be too hard on them­selves. "If you look af­ter your­self first then you’re in the best pos­si­ble po­si­tion to deal with sit­u­a­tions that crop up when you’re a par­ent, be­cause you’re in the right frame of mind."

INHALE, EXHALE: Mind­ful­ness has shown to en­hance par­ent­ing skills and im­prove chil­dren’s be­hav­iour

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.