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A mantra is a Sanskrit word that refers to sounds that, according to some beliefs, have some psychological or spiritual power. In religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, a mantra is a sacred phrase, word or syllable, recited in support of meditation or to invoke a divinity.
The term comes from man- ('mind' in Sanskrit) and the instrumental suffix -tra, so it could be literally translated as "mental instrument". Although I have little knowledge of these religions, I believe enormously in the power of the word so I believe that a specific “mantra” or phrase can be very useful when it comes to parenting.
It is a way of reminding ourselves of a concept that we believe is relevant and repeating it internally when our strength falters (something that happens very often with children or adolescents). In my case I developed 4 that I share below. I hope you find them useful or that you share yours with all the readers of Guiainfantil.com
1. "I am educating him, I am educating him"
This phrase began to resonate in my mind within a few months of being a mom. Because every time my son threw a tantrum over something he shouldn't have, eat, or do, my temptation was to avoid frustration. But it is clear that boys cannot always be pleased. If they want to eat a plant or put their fingers in the socket, we must say NO even if their crying breaks our soul. On those occasions, reminding myself that "I'm educating him, I'm educating him" helped me stay firm.
And of course, as my children grew, there were thousands of other times when repeating this phrase to me was necessary. How much they asked me to go to a place that I did not consider correct, or not to go to a family reunion, or to buy them something they did not need and you told me that I am the worst mother and that "other parents do leave them. I still use it from time to time and believe me 20 years later, it still works.
2. "Behaviors are symptoms."
Children often misbehave. They attack, hit, throw tantrums, slam doors, throw things on the floor, resist eating the food we prepare, have poor school performance despite having spare capacity and an endless number of etceteras that if you are a mom or dad you surely know. They don't do it because they are bad or want to annoy us. They are manifesting something that they do not know how to communicate in any other way.
Dr. Amanda Céspedes, author of "Children with tantrums, defiant adolescents", argues that "There is no child or adolescent in the world who does not want to transmute their tantrums, their rebellion and their bad reputation into kindness and good disposition". You just have to know how to help them. Therefore, when your child puzzles you or makes your hair stand on end, before punishing or complaining, think to yourself: "Behaviors are symptoms." This does not mean that you should not exercise the authority of parenthood, but it does mean that you should broaden your gaze and try to understand what it is that leads your child to act in a certain way and above all, what needs to be changed in the family system to that he or she can change their behaviors. We cannot expect something different, if we always keep doing the same thing.
3. "Here and now."
Having your head in a thousand things is typical of today's parents. And probably even more so in the case of mothers. Those of us who work not only inside but also outside the home, have concerns regarding our children but also our parents, friends, bosses, co-workers, objectives, goals to meet, budgets, deadlines and countless issues that occupy our day to day. day. (and often our nights too).
I noticed that sometimes I took my children to the doctor, and when I left the consultation I did not remember even half of the things that the pediatrician had told me. Or that I left work in a hurry to look for my children at school and could not connect with what they wanted to tell me. So I decided to make an effort to be not only physically but also mentally present every time I shared with them. The effort was accompanied by this phrase: "Here and now." To try to put aside the invasive thoughts and be able to be emotionally present in the different instances. As I try to do it while I write these lines.
4. "This too will pass."
Bored of changing diapers? To get lice? To heat baby bottles? To help with homework? Telling stories at night? Coughs and colds make you tired? Does preparing food for lunch exhaust you? "This too will pass" And at some point you're going to miss doing it. So the next time you get mad about any of these everyday minutiae, internally remind yourself that nothing will last forever. And then you will feel nostalgia for those moments that disturb you today. So it is better to face them with joy and happiness.
In short, I believe that any of these phrases, whether or not they are considered mantras, help to relax, focus on a task and focus the mind. They help us to find calm and therefore transmit it to those around us. Do you dare to try it?
You can read more articles similar to 4 mantras to educate our children, in the category of On-site Education.