Mindful Parenting - The Handbook for Parents
Great Advice - How to find the time!
As a parent, it can be difficult to not only read all the 'best advice' but also find the time to put all those great new strategies in place. There is so much out there on how to improve ourselves as parents and bring up our children to be resilient, kind, caring and happy. The tricky thing I found, how to pack it all into an already busy life. Speaking to lots of other parents, especially in my baby classes, everyone seems to be feeling it. How do we learn all this 'new stuff' on how to be the best parent we can and then find the time to ensure that we are able to put it into practice? I know that I love to read and develop, not only as a person but as my role as a parent. I end up 'cherry picking' from various books, blogs, and general tips. Sometimes successfully, others, well - not so much!
When I was looking at the idea of a Mindful Parenting book, this thought kept popping up. So, how could I make a book that actually had stuff you would want to put into practice an easy read! I had so many ideas and thoughts of how it 'should' look but in the end, I choose to follow my own intuition. Keep it simple. Write something that would be easy to not only pick up and read but also put into place. The book is not divided into ages of children. So many families have a wide age range and honestly, many of the exercises are suitable for a wide age range. As a parent, you know what type of activity your child likes, regardless of age. My girls (aged 12), still love chasing bubbles around the garden! So, let's not confine this to age 'appropriate' activities. Instead, I have split it into types of activities. You can choose a guided meditation, with a full script to read out to your child. Or maybe they prefer something more tactile? How about using a Mindful Stone?
Mindfulness for all
This is a book that parents and their children can read together. The techniques are also easy to bring into daily life. I wanted to show that Mindfulness can be accessible to all. If you have never 'practiced' mindfulness before, you would have somewhere to start. If you have a daily mindful practice in place, then great, there are plenty of tips that you can add into your kid's life that would enable them to join you on the mindful journey.
Some Tips to Try
I have listed a few simple ideas that you can start to use straight away. Give them a try with your children and if you want to learn any more you can check out the book on Amazon - Mindful Parenting, 40 Mindful Moments to share with your children. There are also some great FREE resources on the website, with downloads and printables. This is a growing library of resources if you would like to receive monthly tips on easy to use Mindful ideas then sign up to the Mindful Parenting Newsletter.
- Dinner Time - A really great place to start bringing in some mindful awareness. Ban all the gadgets from the dinner table. This can often just open up the opportunity to share some conversation, which can be a good place to begin.
- Hold Hands - Simply hold hands with your child or children and closing your eyes. You can sit in a circle if you can, or just somewhere you are all comfy. No one talks, you can either just all take a moment together or if you are able you can focus on the breath. You might want to say "breathe in, and out" in time to your breath. The guided part of this, with your voice, can be a great focal point for you all.
- Count the breath - Sitting or lying, count 1 and inhale, 2, exhale, 3 inhale, 4 exhale, until you get to 10. Breath normally for a couple of minutes and then repeat.
- A Mindful Walk - Get out and about with the family and make a fun game of being aware of things you can see, hear or even smell! A fab one for a day out in the park or beach. This can really be used anywhere, for those times when you want to bring your child's attention to what is around them.
For any parent, just be aware that we need to not only spend time with our kids but connect to them when we do! The juggle of our daily busy lives can often be overwhelming, these Mindful Moments are as important for us and them. Enjoy taking time, even if it is in small pockets. They all come together to help us build fabulous connections to ourselves and our children. The Facebook group is a great place to connect with other parents looking to share their tips. If you would like Mindful Parenting Tips every month then sign up to the newsletter, you can unsubscribe at any time. If you want to read the rather funny reality of my 'official' book launch, then do check out the Book Launch Blog Happy Reading
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