One of the greatest challenges to parenting is juggling everything at once — keeping up with the demands of employment while also caring for children can feel impossible. More than anything, all this multitasking takes a toll on one’s ability to focus. This can lead to feeling scattered, anxious, and overwhelmed.
It is simply not sustainable for these feelings to persist unaddressed. Eventually, you have to give yourself the space you need to work through daily anxieties and stressors and find peace. Perhaps the best way to center yourself and achieve a feeling of balance is through meditation.
Today, we’ll go through some of the benefits of meditation for parenting, as well as ways you can incorporate this practice into your daily routine.
The Benefits of Meditation for Parenting: What the Research Says
As parents, we want to be patient, understanding, and compassionate with our children. We want to act with intention, rather than acting suddenly in an emotional reaction. Yet the various sources of stress in our lives can make this easier said than done.
Meditation helps us become more mindful of our thoughts and actions. Mindfulness meditation in particular has been found to have positive effects on parent-child relationships. A study of 43 mothers of preschool-aged children in Chile found very promising results that support this claim.
A meta-analysis of similar studies found this trend to be generally supported. They found a positive correlation between changes in parenting stress associated with mindfulness meditation and youth externalizing and cognitive effects, though no statistically significant correlation was found with internalizing effects.
The researchers concluded that more study was necessary to draw more firm conclusions, but so far the evidence of the benefits of meditation for parenting is very promising. In the meantime, there is no reason to put off starting daily meditation. It certainly won’t cause any harm, and the practice backed up both by some positive preliminary scientific findings as well as centuries of tradition and testimony.
The benefits of meditation for parents, children, and people at any stage of life are far-reaching. Each year, there are more than five million motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. alone. Not only does this make for costly repairs such as replacing windshields with foot-long cracks, but it also comes at a tragic human cost. Imagine how this number might be reduced if more drivers took the time to hone their ability to focus.
By incorporating meditation into your life each day, you can become a more attentive and compassionate parent. And not only are there benefits of meditation for parenting, but you’ll find that there are improvements in your general quality of life.
The reality is that we simply don’t know what challenges life will throw at us. A beloved family pet could fall ill, or at any age we could suddenly develop an uncomfortable condition such as psoriasis. Meditation helps us to accept these occurrences that are beyond our control. In time you will notice that you experience less stress, and find it easier to focus on the moments of beauty in your life.