The benefits of mindful parenting

Savor the moment. Your kids will thank you later.

A mother and child.
(Image credit: Illustrated | TopVectors/iStock, Aerial3/iStock)

Mindfulness has its roots in early Buddhist teachings from 2,500 years ago, but our modern obsession with it began when Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts in 1979. And the internet has only exacerbated its trendiness.

According to the American Psychological Association, mindfulness is "a moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment." That might sound simple. It's not. And taking a mindful approach to parenting is especially difficult, because in our fast-paced, ever-evolving, increasingly challenging world, our to-do lists are mammoth and it's nearly impossible to get through the day without stellar multitasking skills. The problem is that multitasking is the antithesis of mindfulness. Trying to do several things at once, on time, and to a satisfactory standard, just doesn't lend itself to being aware of what's happening in the moment.

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