Frustrating in Parenting? Practicing Mindfulness to Grow with Your Children

As a full-time housewife and a full-time mother, Cammy has a 9-year-old son. Her son is obedient in most of the time but is overreacted and even prone to hurting himself when being criticized for making mistake, such as banging the head to the wall or kicking on the wall until bleeding.

There was a time when her son slightly hurt another family member for playing with a screwdriver. Cammy recalled that nobody blamed him at that moment, but he was acting very fiercely and ran towards the window and intend to jump out of it. Cammy said that she would use every possible method to stop her son in those situations, "I would stand in front of the wall. On most occasions, he would stop or at least slacken his action because he understands that if he keeps kicking or banging, he would hurt me.” Cammy only knows how to stop him in dangerous moment, but feels helpless in finding out the root cause of her son’s emotional breakdown.

Cammy once had emotional distress. Therefore, when she saw those moments, they reminded her of her own history, "My son and I, we both tend to physically hurt ourselves to cover up the internal pain. Besides, we both like to push away the helping hand even that we are in great need of external help.” She confessed that when she was also in bad emotional status, she would need help from others to calm both herself and her son down.

Cammy’s story maybe common in this city, although reactions to children’s emotional problem may vary. In Cammy’s case, she may feel helpless or use medication that only address the superficial injury but not the root cause, other parents may choose to seriously blame or even physically punish their children.

Being parents, we may fail to control our emotion and use destructive word when irritated by our children. Such reaction could also be the result of the parents spending too much time in looking after the children but overlooking themselves in pressure handling. The accumulated negative emotion finally breaks down the wall and run away.

Learning to handle pressure properly is a fundamental element in the effective parenting. The Mindful Parenting course developed by a Netherlands scholar has helped Cammy successfully observe her emotional status and unconscious reaction to any given moment and also develop a more tolerant mindset to notice and embrace what her son really needs.