Meditation is a skill that helps us set aside fear about the future and regret about the past. It helps us focus on the present. Experienced meditators have less trouble with physical pain because they don't spend as much time anticipating future pain or reliving past pain. They don't wish away the present for some desired, possible future.
What if we applied a mindfulness meditation philosophy to childcare, reminding ourselves that in each moment with our children — and actually, every moment in our lives — we have a choice? We can choose to be present with our kids or we can choose to worry, complain, dream of happier days or dwell on regrets of the past.
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Our brains are designed to heed pain and danger. So, worrying and regret is natural. But meditators have learned to minimize excessive attention to worry and regret. Chances are, even if your child is being a pill at the moment, that pill will be easier to take if you don't package it with past and future pills. And the loving moments won't have to compete so much with the loud static of worry, frustration and regret to get our attention.
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Now, I'm not suggesting that we never worry or plan. Still, if we spent more time in the present with our children and less time worrying about them and about life in general, more of that warm glow of oxytocin could kick in and change how we feel about parenting.