When Pia Dell’orto is with your children follow a few rules. One is to avoid looking at the cell, another is to not think about work or the things you have to do in the rest of the day. “The children really need attention at 100%. If you are not given complete, they get angry, they behave badly: they realize that one is not”.
Pia follows these rules since last year, when he participated in a workshop of meditation and parenting, taught by the psychologist Pilar Mardones.
The professional, who learned of the issue in Canada, will be exhibiting this Saturday on “Mindfulness in parenting”, at the MCA Festival 2017 (mind, body, soul), which will be held in the Mapocho Station.
In the talk, dedicated to parents of children between one and 12 years, Mardones will speak about the importance of keeping attention in the present for a better parent-child relationship. “Mindfulness is the innate ability of bringing the attention to the present moment. The problem is that, generally, our mind wanders in a thousand things, what we need to do after, ruminate what we did not do… it is very difficult to be able to connect with what is happening in the moment, especially with the children, if not we draw up a training of our attention,” says Mardones.
“We need to stop, spend the way you do, that we live in full of hectic, a way of being and living. And the child, generally, is in that mode of being, especially young children. They live in the present”.
Mardones summarized his talk with these words: “The invitation is to pause, to take consciousness about what happens to us to connect with what happens to the other, beyond what their conduct manifested”.
If this is achieved, he says, the parents, for example, do not react impulsively to a tantrum or a bad response from the son: “It manages to create a space between stimulus and response”.
“A child under the age of four years, that is with a tantrum, this is involuntary, is out of control, your brain is still immature and can’t be regulated emotionally. If as an adult I am aware of that, I do not judge the temper tantrum as the child me is manipulating, or that I have to challenge him. What I do is hold and I wonder what is need of that child, if you need a clear limit, space, or a hug, for example. But attempt I regularme first, because that temper tantrum is going to generate something in me, and then ruled the child”.
In an older child, continues, cope with the tantrum will have another form, but it is always important to keep calm and not to act from impulsivity.
To do this, he acknowledges, it is important to connect with the emotions and a way to achieve this is to be aware of the body.
Close your eyes
In their workshops, Mardones teaches meditation techniques. “The meditation practices allow you to recognize what happens to me, take consciousness and that I can connect with what happens to the child.”
And although the ideal is to meditate about half an hour daily, there are simple exercises, he says, that also help to “lower the rpm”. One lasts just three minutes and should be repeated three times a day. It is ideal to be sitting while practicing. “You have to close your eyes and become aware of the body at this time. Observe the state of the mind, the thoughts that cross it, the judgments, affective states, emotions present. Perhaps grief, anxiety, calm, peace. This is the first step. The idea is to get out of the auto pilot, and do check the physical, emotional, and sensory”.
The second step is to focus attention on the abdomen. “Be aware of how it expands when you inhale and descends, and contracts when you exhale. That way, the person will focusing their attention, putting attention on a point, in something that will give you a sense of calm”.