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I recently got the following question on my Twitter feedDo you feel meditation has really changed you? More relaxing, less stress? So on?

The short answer to these questions is YES! All of the above! But that answer isn’t terribly helpful, so I thought it would be useful to share just how my meditation and mindfulness practice helps me to be a better parent.

Before we get into the details, I feel compelled to clarify something. As I have said many times, I am not the Dalai Mama. If any of you were to follow me around for a few days, or spy on me (in a totally non-creep way, of course), you would probably see me snap at my kids or sneak a peek at my smartphone or hide in the kitchen for a break.

You would see me being anything but mindful.

The reality is that I’m doing all of these things less often than I was before I started meditating, and when I do find myself doing them, I am able to calm down, center myself, and make better choices more quickly than before. That’s just what happens when you learn to pay attention to the present moment without judging it or fighting with it. (I actually have a huge amount of experience fighting with reality. I never win.)

The rest of the post, including all 13 ways in which mindfulness makes me a better parent, is over on my Mindful Parenting blog on PsychCentral.com.