10 Ways to Bring Out the Best in Your Kid

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

 

Imagine your kid engrossed in something that keeps his attention for hours, expands his senses, nurtures his awareness, calms him down and strengthens his immune system. And it has nothing to do with electronics or medication.

Imagine that you are also calm and at ease and not having to control his every moment or correct him over and over.

Imagine that you are having fun and being healthy all at the same time.

Even good parents get overwhelmed and feel like they run out of ideas, or they just get so busy that implementing new ideas just seems like too much effort.

Imagine learning a few tools that you can use anytime to collect yourself and calm down anytime throughout the day. Even better, imagine your children learning those same tools and having fun doing it, creating a calmer, healthier and more pleasant environment in the home.

Imagine that you could start right away, creating good memories, less stress in your relationships and better family bonding.

Creating a lifestyle of mindful awareness and joyful living is easier than you might think. Learning the principles of connection awareness, and detaching from drama (Peaceful Parenting: 10 Essential Principles, 2013) you can begin to create a calming energy within yourself, which has an overflow effect into your home. You know as well as I do that kids do what you do before they will ever do what you say.

It just doesn’t make any practical sense for them to do something that doesn’t seem to be working for you. So when you tell them to calm down while you are yelling, they consider that scenario and think, “Calming down doesn’t seem to be working for Mom, so I think I will yell louder since that’s what seems to be working for her!”

When you insist that they read because it’s so much fun, but you spend all your time on your phone, they are tempted to think, “Obviously Dad isn’t buying into the ‘fun reading’ thing, so I will just play on my tablet too. I want to be like Dad.”

Imitation is a sort of flattery…continue reading on the Huffington Post Blog

What’s all the fuss about mindfulness?

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

I’ve heard people say that mindfulness exercises don’t work with young children. But studies prove differently. According to Sarah Rudell Beach, in her Huffington Post article on the topic, “There is an emerging body of research that indicates mindfulness can help children improve their abilities to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset and to make better decisions. In short, it helps with emotional regulation and cognitive focus.

mindful

Who doesn’t want that for their kid? What teacher wouldn’t think this is helpful for classroom performance? What parent wouldn’t appreciate their ADHD child being better able to self-regulate?

Teaching mindfulness to kids is easy and fun. Of course, as with anything, children learn from your example rather than expecting them to perform by harping on them.

The principles from my book, Peaceful Parenting: 10 Essential Principles, bear mentioning here because the principles help you be the parent that you want your kids to emulate:

  1. Connect with your Creator
  2. Know your true identity
  3. Nurture awareness
  4. Breathe
  5. Respect
  6. Practice gratitude
  7. Limit judgments
  8. Detach
  9. Communicate clearly
  10. Forgive quickly

These are principles of a mindful life.

They are easily acquired through meditation, walks in nature, paying    attention to the present moment, letting go of the need to be right, not  engaging in drama, and by not comparing one thing to the other, just learning to appreciate each person and thing for its own value.

Fun ways to teach these principles to your children are:

  1. Having a treasure hunt in the woods.
  2. Stopping and stating three things that you hear or smell or see.
  3. Watching the clouds and picking out shapes.
  4. Going fishing. My grandson, who is usually very active can be still for hours catching tadpoles, fishing, skipping rocks in the pond.
  5. Reading poetry that encourages a thoughtful approach to nature.
  6. Listening to different kinds of music and talking about how each makes you feel differently.
  7. Smelling different types of oils and discussing which ones you like or don’t like and why.
  8. Practicing sitting still. Sometimes I will set the timer for 5 minutes and say just listen to what God has to say to you. Then discuss it afterward. You will be surprised at what they hear.
  9. Let them pick a rock from outside and close their eyes and turn it over and over in their hands, feeling its texture and ask what the rock wants to communicate with them.
  10. Teach them to just take a deep breath a few times when they are feeling over-stimulated to calm themselves down.
  11. Teach them to name their emotions. Don’t label them as good or bad but ask if there is a different emotion that would feel better and discuss how to get there.
  12. Teach them that they always have a choice and always have a voice.
  13. Model respect for each member of the family by listening and responding thoughtfully rather that just reacting.

You might be surprised that kids find these things fun and easy to do. They particularly enjoy doing these activities and engaging with you. And in the process, you will find yourself calming down and feeling more peaceful as well.

 

Mindful parenting interview with Sister Jenna

Monday, June 29th, 2015

sister jenna

I had the great honor of being interviewed by Sister Jenna of the Meditation Museum on June 29, 2015. We spoke about mindfulness, about Peaceful Parenting: 10 Essential Principles and the “whats and whys” of the opening of the Marianne Clyde Center for Holistic Psychotherapy. Enjoy. Listen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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