Attitudinal Foundations of Mindfulness Acceptance Beginner’s Mind Non-judgment Letting Be Patience Non-striving Trust Compassion
Mindfulness & the Brain Mindfulness practice strengthens our ability to: Notice & observe our experiences (mid prefrontal cortex) Respond to stress in a more calm way (amygdala) Regulate emotions (slows activity in the insula) Not be controlled by the negativity bias of the brain Be more compassionate & empathic (right hemisphere)
How Mindfulness Supports Parenting What’s most important now? Single-tasking Notice our ‘buttons’ Self-awareness (mirror neurons) Intentional parenting Self-kindness & compassion
Mindful Parents – Resilient Children Foundations of Mindful Parenting Sovereignty Empathy Acceptance - Jon & Myla Kabat-Zinn
Mindful Parenting – Resilient Children Mirror neurons Parental emotional-regulation – supports children’s emotional-regulation Mindfulness supports us to more fully show up for our children – Less distracted & More Present for the fun times & the challenging ones Less likely to unconsciously pass on unwanted parenting practices that we experienced as children “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Staying on the High Road (Conscious parenting) Stress ↓ Pause (Awareness) ↓ Response “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Going Down the Low Road (Knee Jerk Parenting) Stress ↓ Immediate Response
When we happen to go down the low road… “Repairing ruptures is the most essential thing in parenting…” Dr. Daniel Siegel
How do we not “Flip our Lids” when we are REALLY emotionally charged?
Deep breaths Take a time out Tag team – when possible Get active – (move around, go for a walk) Personal mantra to help calm down – E.g. “This too shall pass,” “I’m doing the best I can,” “I’m having a hard day”
TIPS for Mindful Caregiving Find time for yourself and be in stillness at least once a day, even if for 3 minutes… Schedule time to just be with your children, with no agenda in mind. Practice seeing the world through your child’s eyes, stepping into their experience. Get to know yourself well... really, really well. Learn to become an observer of thoughts, emotions and body sensations and the messages they may be offering you
TIPS for Mindful Caregiving Invite compassion to be the default when you’re just not sure what to do. Check in with your body throughout the day and let go of any tension being held – our children are soaking up our emotional and bodily states (through mirror neurons). Spend a few moments everyday reflecting on a pleasant moment you had with your child/ren and/or something you appreciate about them. Be intentional with your use of technology. Keep the brain in mind, especially during challenging parenting moments.
Give yourself permission to take a time out and ask for help. Remember to breathe... lots TIPS for Mindful Caregiving
Planting the Seeds of Mindfulness with Children: much more than sitting still… Modeling – practicing mindfulness yourself Making a family relaxation jar Stillness snow globes / mind jars Eating a meal together with no technology Sharing what you are grateful for Buddy breathing Spending time together in nature Coming together at a certain time each day to take a few breaths and connect (i.e. before school / work) Reflecting on a pleasant event that happened that day Narrating children’s emotions – as coming & going Teaching children about their brain & emotions
“Everyday Blessings” Sovereignty – makes it possible for children to show their true selves and find their own way Empathy – “what did I most want from my parents when I was a child?” Acceptance – acknowledges things as they are, whether they are the way we want them to be or not