Mindful parenting, to me, means parenting from the heart with open eyes and an ever curious mind - seeing our children afresh every time we look at them, trying to let go of those oftentimes very limiting preconceptions that our brains love so much - from a point of introspection, intuition, inner wisdom, and reflection as opposed to blindly following someone else's rules or advice, which might or might not be a good fit for your current family situation.
I believe that if we can manage to, over and over, reconnect to ourselves, we can experience parenthood much more authentically and intensely. We will really show up and be there for our children, as best as we can in any given moment.
I also believe that if we parent from this open, connected point of view, that many of API's Eight Principles of Parenting will come to us very naturally and organically, simply because parenting mindfully will enable us to see our children's as well as our own needs much more clearly and to be able to easier attune and react to them in ways that encourage nurturing, love, and growth.
Inga Bohnekamp, a native of Germany, is a trained psychologist and yoga teacher, founder of the MAPLE MINDS program at the Children's Hospital in Eastern Ontario and the MindBodyFeel program for the Canadian Cancer Society, and author of several children's books. Read more about Inga and mindful parenting at The Attached Family.