Archives for November, 2012

Meditation

What Does a Mindful Parent Look Like?


As a clinical social worker, I've known about mindfulness and meditation for quite awhile now, but I was hesitant to get involved. There were a million reasons—I was busy, I had other coping skills, I didn't really need it. But mostly, I thought it just wasn't my style.

In my mind, someone who meditates or practices mindfulness probably wears organic cotton clothing, enjoys lingering over a warm cup of tea, and would rather spend the night cuddled up a book...
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Health

Mindful Parenting? First, Self-Care!


This blog has been quiet for a few days, as I have been sick. I've had a head and chest cold for almost 4 weeks, and it got bad enough to land me in urgent care yesterday. One chest x-ray and a blood test later, it was determined that while I don’t have pneumonia, my asthma has been triggered for the first time in years. I came home with prescriptions for some heavy duty meds,...
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Book Review

Mindfully Parenting Children We Didn’t Expect


"All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves."

I read these words in the description of Andrew Solomon's latest book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. I haven't yet read the book, as it just came out, but it's on my list. In...
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Meditation

STOP: Creating a Mindful Pause


I initially became interested in mindfulness practice because I wanted to be a better parent. Specifically, I didn't want to be so reactive to my daughters' fits and challenging moments. I found myself snapping at the girls when I wanted to be calm and patient. I was grumpy when I wanted to be kind. I knew I wanted to be a different parent, but I wasn't sure how to get there. I kept...
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Book Review

Mindful Parenting Reading List


I recently attended a lecture through my local Community Education program, and the presenter offered a great list of books related to mindful parenting. I haven't read all of them yet, but I'd like to share them with you, along with their author's websites (when available).

Raising Happiness by Christine Carter, PhD
A Pebble in Your Pocket by Thich Nhat Hanh, Phillipe Ames, and Nguyen Thi Hop
Planting Seeds: Practicing...
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Mindfulness

Tips for Being Present With Your Kids


I recently came across two great lists of ideas for how to stay mindful and present with your kids.

The first one is from Gaiam Life, entitled, "Calm Mom: 5 Ways to Be a Present Parent."
All of the suggestions are great, but my favorite is #5: Breathe. It doesn't require any planning or changes to our schedule or routine. I'm always breathing; the trick is remembering to pay attention...
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Mindfulness

The Mindfulness of Mermaids


Yesterday I wrote about lessons in mindfulness from Cinderella, and a reader left a comment asking about the Little Mermaid. It’s such a good question that I wanted to answer it with an entire post.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, it’s about a mermaid named Ariel who is fascinated with the human world, and even falls in love with a Prince. Ariel’s father, King Triton, forbids her from ever having...
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Children

Lessons in Mindfulness from a Disney Princess?

My daughters recently discovered Cinderella and the rest of the Disney Princesses, and within a few days they were obsessed. We read the stories on a daily basis, they’ve seen the Cinderella movie, and when they play, there’s a lot of “discussion” about who gets to be Cinderella and who has to be the prince.

The egalitarian feminist social worker in me is a bit horrified; I don’t love the idea of my daughters...
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