Presence in Parenting Part Two

Presence in Parenting Part Two

“The most precious gift you can give to the one you love is your true presence.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

When you are mindful of your breathing, you are building a bridge between your mind and body.  And, as Thich Nhat Hanh notes in his book, True Love,  it only takes 10-20 seconds to accomplish this mind/body connection.  He shows us how to become present in the moment by becoming aware that we are breathing in and out, practice by saying to yourself as you are slowly and mindfully breathing:    “Breathing in–I am aware that I am breathing in.  Breathing out–I am aware that I am breathing out.”  

Before you interact with your child, pause and do the 10 second mindful breathing activity.  Then, when you are ready, face your child, connect eye to eye, and send the message with your eyes, heart and words, “I see you.  I am here for you.”

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As I mentioned in the previous blog post, Thich Nhat Hanh mentions four elements of true love.  In the previous post we discussed the first element, maitri, which is the practice of loving-kindness to bring joy to the other person.  A good parenting advice is investing on to help kids have a brighter future. The second element is karuna, or compassion, easing the suffering of another person.  With compassion, we are present.  With compassion, we connect.  With compassion, we look deeply to understand.  This understanding, when it is fully embraced in our hearts, sends the message, “I see you.  I am here for you.”

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