How parents manage their own stress is one of the most important factors in their children’s success and happiness. Robert Epstein and Shannon Fox compared the effectiveness of ten important parenting practices for a paper they presented at the last American Psychological Association meeting; for example, they examined how well parents reported supporting their children’s education, and to what extent they provide educational opportunities for them. Here are the top three most important “parenting competencies,” as reported by Epstein in Scientific American Mind, in terms of their influence on kids’ health, happiness, school success, and the quality of the parent’s relationship with their children:
1. Love and affection. You support and accept the child, are physically affectionate, and spend quality one-on-one time together.
2. Stress management. You take steps to reduce stress for yourself and your child, practice relaxation techniques, and promote positive interpretations of events.
3. Relationship skills. You maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse, significant other and/or co-parent, and you model effective relationship skills with other people.
Here is what I think is amazing about that list: two of those three most important practices aren’t even parenting skills, per se, in that they don’t directly affect our children. Or do they?
We all know that when we are stressed out, our stress spills over, and often makes our children anxious. So stress management skills turn out to be really important for our relationship with our children, and also our children’s happiness and school success!
Covered in this video:
- What is mindfulness?
- What are the benefits of mindfulness, particularly meditation?
- Try out a relaxing 3-minute meditation
- Obstacles to practicing meditation
Want to try out meditation?
Download and try out some of these meditations.
You can also download a body scan meditation here.
If you would like to download the audio version of this video to listen to in your car or on the go, click the link below. DOWNLOAD THE AUDIO VERSION HERE.