Understanding meltdowns and how we can calm ourselves & our kids down…

 

For me understanding how our brain processes emotions, the triggers for the fight, flight or freeze responses in myself and in my kids has transformed my life!  I have also seen it transform many parents lives in coaching or in workshops as they understand that their child’s emotional brain is still developing and the ability to put the ‘brakes’ on is not yet mature.

Once we understand how the brain works – (in video above with this model of the Brain In the Hand by Dan Siegel) then we can begin to understand our own emotions and understand our child’s emotions.  What is the first sign for you that you are getting annoyed / irritated?  What is the first sign in your child?  What about for nervousness and excitement?  The Emotional Thermometer (in video below) is one of the best tools for developing awareness and understanding of emotions – a very important part of emotional intelligence.

Once we have this understanding and our kids have this understanding then we can begin to learn some mindful calming strategies – from simple 10 second activities to longer 5-10 minute activities suitable for young and old!

If you would like to learn more on the emotions and on calming strategies check out the NEW Understanding Emotions Online Course with short videos that you can access in your own time at your own pace and begin learning the skills needed to teach yourself and your children how to regulate emotions.

Which tool would be helpful in your house – the Flipping The Lid Brain in the hand model or the Emotional Thermometer?

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The reality of school mornings (sigh!) and the need to breathe…

I’m wondering what mornings are like at your house? Yesterday was an absolute classic – with my twins (and me!) getting used to a new bus routine and earlier start time…for high-school.  With lots of opportunities to practice (sometimes without success!) mindful breathing!

breathe-stressed-mum

 

I began by meditating on my balcony, calming my mind and preparing myself for a peaceful Monday morning… (I can do this now my kids are older!)

I walk back into the house to find two kids still fast asleep despite the bus leaving in 40 minutes…
I wake them gently, calmly, glad I meditated..
I make 4 sandwiches virtuously – this is unusual for me as normally the kids help themselves to the lunch ingredients so less food is wasted…
So far so good,

Phil leaves early for work and all is well…
Someone yells there is no hot water – thank goodness it is a hot day and I make a mental note to get that fixed, but not to worry about it now, or even this week!

Kids groan and complain that there is no cereal despite there being 4 open boxes of different varieties on the bench – turns out that even though they went to Coles with their Dad on the weekend no one bought the cereal they like?

I breathe and begin to braid my daughters hair, a special request

Then youngest son takes too long in the shower, eldest son grumpy and yelling, youngest son calls out for a towel, no-one helps, I yell ‘you’ll have to get your own towel’ but in his wisdom he hops back into shower!

Eldest son gets louder and grumpier, and thumps on bathroom door!

I knock on door and shout loudly about 2 more people needing to still have a shower, the need to save water etc – and the door opens – he has found a towel in the bathroom (there all along!) and is now getting out…I loudly suggest please never have two showers in a row again!!!
I breathe but teeth gritted, calmness is evapourating…
I remember I’m out of my toasted muesli and unwisely I begin making this…
Then remember orthodontist appt for two children at lunch time and search frantically for paper and pen to write school notes and realise I will have to reorganise my whole entire day to fit this appt in… and cancel yoga 😦

I breathe…

Then I find youngest son, sitting in wet towel at the computer with 7 minutes to go until the bus leaves….I am no longer calm, I deliver an exploding lecture, I unplug computer in a rage…

And then I remember to breathe…

Two kids leave in good time to catch the bus, but I remember I haven’t said goodbye to one so shout out ‘fond’ farewell from front door that neighbours could hear!! And send a virtual hug!
Youngest son comes upstairs breathless, seemingly dressed, we hug, he thanks me for lunch, all is forgiven, I hug him tight and wish him well.
He races up to the bus…fingers crossed he’ll catch it.

I realise I have overcooked the muesli but it’s saved in the nick of time, thank goodness
Eldest son leaves on his bike, showered and peaceful, again thank goodness.

I breathe…
And I turn to face a tsunami of lunch / brekky stuff left out on the bench, discover the bathroom has been flooded from the earlier shenannigans and clothes are left everywhere…

and it’s only 8:08am!!!

I sigh, I breathe, I feel like going back to bed or at least meditating again to regain some of that calm but instead the day begins and I breathe and breathe and breathe as I regain some order both inside and out…

Phew!!

Anyone else have something similar happen at the start of the school or preschool year??

Finding Self-Compassion

Small changes seem to bring BIG changes if we can just persist and practice enough…

It is amazing to me when things start settling in – first we understand a concept with our minds, and then over time as we practice,  we understand it deeply with our hearts – and then the real change happens…   In my experience real change happens faster when we involve the right side of our brain and our subconscious and art journal / sketch / doodle responses and bring in visualisations / meditations.  Slowly for me have I been learning self-compassion…

self-compassion-book

I’ve been lucky this year to do Brene Brown’s Gifts Of Imperfection Art Journalling course and Kristin Neff & Brene Brown’s Self-Compassion course- both online:  http://www.courageworks.com/shop/classes/self-compassion-with-kristin-neff-brene-brown and Tara Brach & Jack Kornfiled’s incredibly in depth Power Of Awareness online mindfulness course http://www.soundstrue.com/store/power-of-awareness where self-compassion is a key component…

We all have that inner critic, that war within ourselves…sometimes without us even being aware of it. The expectations we place on ourselves can be unrealistic and unachievable and we can be constantly beating ourselves up for not being better, perfect…

When I find myself getting highly critical of my loved ones then I know I’m being even more critical of myself!  Kristin Neff talks about how we are so much kinder and more compassionate to a best friend or child than we are to ourselves in the same situation yet it is very hard to express authentic compassion to others if we cannot express it to ourselves.

For me the journey of reducing this intense self-criticism began when I first became a Mum almost 18 years ago and had post natal depression.   I needed to let go of the ‘perfect’ should messages and give myself permission to have a messy house, look messy and have a messy garden and be tired and grumpy sometimes!   Since then it’s like I’ve needed to peel back the layers – uncovering other aspects of being too harsh on myself that I didn’t even know were there!

In the Gifts Of Imperfection Art Journalling course a powerful exercise is to find photos of your younger self and write down messages of self-compassion…it was very healing to find teenage photos and remember all of the angst and instead write with empathy, understanding, kindness and gentleness…as you would to your own child who is struggling.

Then in Kristin Neff’s Self-Compassion course I learned that there are 3 core components to self-compassion:

  1. Mindfully notice that you are at war with yourself
  2. Realise our common humanity – we are ALL imperfect, we are all struggling on some level, we are all on a journey
  3. Offer words of kindness, and explore how to actively nurture yourself…

If you think about it this is what we would offer a friend or a child – we would

  1. Notice they are struggling
  2. Empathise and offer that reassurance – ‘it can be difficult’
  3. Offer words of kindness and give a little nurturing

As Brene Brown puts it when we are truly compassionate for another human being it brings out our best selves – yet often the same scenario for ourselves and we treat ourselves worse than anyone else!!  We would never say to someone else what can go through our own minds!

So I have been art journaling and reading and meditating on this topic for a few months now…practicing….and then just recently I was at war with myself.   I had good intentions to change my life for the better but my inner critic was LOUDLY saying ‘give up, it’s not worth it, you don’t have the will power, you’re not strong enough’ And the debate in my head was so unpleasant I wanted to give up JUST to silence the inner critic.

But then I remembered – self-compassion! I noticed and labelled what was going on….’I’m at war with myself’ – just doing that made it a little easier to breathe…then I was able to place my hand over my heart and breathe into the feeling and recognise…’gee it’s tough sometimes to be human, to have all these choices, to make a change for better’….then I remembered times in my past where it has taken at least a year to make one small change to the point that I can easily do it daily … and I was able to offer some kind reassuring words…

And just that small moment – resonated through my life to be a BIG shift – all week it was easier to make the change, all week I was kinder to myself…  So it took awhile for the info to go from head level to heart level but when it did – it was a beautiful moment!

I’m wondering if you have experienced something similar?  Or if you would like more self-compassion in your life?

I’m excited that we’ll be reading and discussing Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff as part of our online Mindfulness Book Club in February 2017.   We’ll also practice some self-compassion exercises and if you live in Port Macquarie then we’ll meet in person to discuss and practice… I’m really looking forward to it!

self-compassion-mindfulness-book-club

More Info: https://www.mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com/mindfulness-book-club

or you can join us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/littlemindfulmomentsbookclub/

 

 

 

Mindful Healing

From burnt out to feeling calm and energised…

mum-asleep-on-floor

I don’t think I realised just how burnt out I was from a full on 3rd school term, and a pretty intense year so far….until taking some time out in the school holidays with the kids and after 2 weeks STILL feeling like not only had I stopped the adrenalin treadmill but I had fallen flat on my face and I was finding it very hard to get back up!

Have you ever had that feeling?

Even though I had been nurturing myself with afternoon meditations that I have to admit had turned into afternoon naps…and trying to get more sleep, get out into the fresh air, gentle exercise, reducing work, eat healthy meals….I still felt low on energy and I was craving sugary treats!   Luckily I had some other strategies up my sleeve which really helped and I’m keen to share them here!

I went to see a Chinese Medicine Practitioner for chinese herbs and acupuncture….it had been a while for me and this just felt sooooo nurturing and like the beginning of my energy levels coming back (Thanks Steph)!  Each time I drank the herbal brew I would have the mantra ‘ nourish, I am nourishing/nurturing my body!’ and I could feel a difference!

Then I caught the throat infection that the kids had had (just when I thought I’d escaped it!) so my next strategy was to visit a naturopath and that was really eye opening (thanks Nyree)!  To see on a screen my own blood cells and really see that they are not getting enough essential fatty acids, or B12 or magnesium etc made it seem essential to start making some changes and take some healthy supplements!

I was a bit scared when Nyree suggested that I reduce my sugar, caffeine and refined carbohydrates intake but it made sense and that day I bought the I Quit Sugar Book https://iquitsugar.com/ and That Sugar Film Book http://thatsugarfilm.com/ !   Initially I wasn’t sure but these authors convinced me within a few pages..mainly because they are all about taking a gentle approach and being kind to your own body!   So I decided I’d reduce sugar and bread but still have black tea, fruit and a tinge of honey in my chai – and pasta and rice with the kids at dinner time…..gently, gently….

I cannot believe how much better I feel after 8 days… I am truly feeling more energy internally and it is a total relief to get off the sugar high and sugar low roller coaster ride!  What has amazed me is the kids were really interested in the That Sugar Book and as a family we watched the That Sugar Film – very entertaining and sooo eye opening!  So now even the 4 teens in our house haven’t complained about no dessert being offered even though they haven’t changed their diet that much!

What has helped so much to keep the sugar cravings at bay (thanks Nyree) has been to add in lots of healthy fats, and to make little treats that have very little sugar in them but are filled with coconut oil and cacao and nut butters (A fave is here at http://divascancook.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-fat-bombs-keto-diet-recipe/ with Rice Syrup being the sweetener)…as well as a range of herbal teas (licorice root and spiced dandelion!        Also I have found that eating healthy fats without sugar and refined carbs, my appetite sensors are back and I am feeling really full after each meal!  Buying an abundance of healthy foods and eating very mindfully has really helped me to appreciate all this amazing food rather than feeling deprived!

The other thing that has helped greatly in this process is to keep up with the acupuncture and herbs…and to see my mindfulness coach twice through this process.  For me it was a BIG, no, HUGE realisation (thanks Kareen) to see that I was using the sugar and caffeine to keep me going….to give me a false sense of energy, to push myself to do more work!  And so going through the coaching process has really helped me to step back, go at a slower pace, relish life more, listen to my body and rest or change what I’m doing if it needs to!  It has really helped me to become a better , kinder and friendlier boss to myself!

So it’s early days yet – but I just wanted to share with you what has really worked for me when feeling really burnt out.  I’m enjoying the benefits of being off sugar so much I have joined the I Quit Sugar 8 week online program https://iquitsugar.com/ if you would like to join me?

I feel so grateful that we have so many amazing local practitioners who can become our support team and really help us to nurture and nourish ourselves.  I’d love to hear what has worked for you?

And I’m wondering where you are at now?  Do you need any extra support?   A key focus in my coaching with clients is on self -care and deep nurturing…sometimes we teach what we most need to learn, no?

If you would like to get in touch with me about the coaching I do I’m at sara@mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com or www.mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com

Cheers, Sara 🙂

 

 

The need to recharge….mindfully!

seasaw-card

The one thing children wear out faster than shoes

is their parents!!

I love this card (thanks Ruth!)….and had forgotten I had it – that is the beauty of spending some time in the school holidays decluttering the house! It started with creating the feel of 2 bedrooms within one bedroom for my twins to reduce the fights and before I knew it we were decluttering the whole house! Such a satisfying feeling though! We have only been in our house for just less than 3 years – amazing what a family of 6 can gather!! Hard to work out what to keep though especially when it comes to kids toys / books / artwork that they no longer use / want but that I feel really sentimental towards!  I kept using Marie Kondo’s method of ‘does this bring me joy?’ and it was a really mindful process!
And in terms of feeling worn out….it was only by stopping work in the school holidays that I realised how worn out I was! Not only did we need to buy new shoes for the kids….but I needed to find some new energy!!! It was so important to stop, rest, reflect, find new ways or rediscover old ways to nurture and nourish my self, sleep more, nap in the middle of the day, reduce expectations of what needed to be done….and especially to take time out from nagging / hurrying the kids in the mornings and evenings (re:school / homework!) and instead just hang out with them!
I think sometimes as parents/carers / grandparents we forget the HUGE load we carry just in running a house and in nurturing our kids AND then we place so many more expectations on ourselves to also work / volunteer / support others!
It is so important to pause, take stock, reflect, look after ourselves and reset, recharge, relax and find ways to rebalance our lives! I am so grateful I was able to take that time over the school holidays and kind of annoyed with myself that yet again I had let myself get worn out – espite my best intentions to live a balanced life!!
How about you? Have you had some time out recently? Are you able to book some time out soon? I really like that idea that we need time daily, a longer period of time weekly and then we need something bigger – like a weekend/week away yearly!! I’m looking forward to hearing some ways that you nourish and look after you? Always good to hear what works for others as then we can learn or remember new ways we can look after ourselves!!  And we can remind ourselves that we ALL need it – we are human after all and we ALL need to rest and take time out! 🙂 x Sara

What to do when my kids are fighting?

Here’s 3 quick and effective strategies to use with sibling rivalry that I teach from Positive Discipline.

Fighting is an everyday occurrence in our house with 4 kids / teens! I’m amazed at how affected I am emotionally when my kids fight – it is often the time when I need to use all my mindfulness skills! And often when I am most stressed, tired or busy that it happens! (usually because my attention is elsewhere!).

These strategies have really helped me as a parent stay more mindful….and not get caught up in escalating the fight by coming in over the top of the kids! The strategies are not foolproof – but even if they only work 60% of the time they help to bring some more calm into our house which is great!

This video links in beautifully with my Dealing with BIG feelings video if you haven’t seen it yet? ….

 

The key thing I have learnt to do when my kids fight is to make sure everyone is safe and then negotiate with them what they will do to calm down (best agreed to before the fight happens!)….before we can even begin to talk about it!

What works at your house? What doesn’t work?

This is often a huge issue for the parents that come and see me for parent coaching or attend my workshops.

We discuss this issue a lot more in our online parenting class Resilient Families Thriving Kids – you can find out more and free trial some videos at www.mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com/onlineclasses or email me, Sara Phillips, Mum and Parent Coach on sara@mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com

#mindfulparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parents #parenthood #kids #mindfulness
#mumlife #mom #dad #mother #fatherhood #children #baby #coaching #coachinglife #siblings

What do you & your child need?

Certainty = SafetyUncertainty=Excitement (1)
Recently I did something out of the ordinary – I went for a walk, in the sun, in the middle of a weekday…just because…..and it felt like a HOLIDAY! It felt glorious! I felt so grateful! Even though it was a walk I do often – it was at a different time of day ….
And it got me thinking how strong it is within us humans to need a balance of certainty & uncertainty! That we crave rhythm & routine (sameness) to feel safe – yet we also crave adventure & excitement (difference) – to experience FUN & to feel alive!
And our kids are the same! Too much out of rhythm & routine can make life difficult and lead to meltdowns – yet kids, even babies, love something new, a change, something exciting….even just a change from indoors to outdoors or one room to the next can make a huge difference!
And as parents we can get locked into our daily routine…and forget that we too also need excitement and adventure – even if it is just going for a walk in the middle of the day!
It is easy to get locked into certainty with our loved ones – to take them for granted and not even really see them!  We can forget that they are amazing people growing and changing constantly…. A little uncertainty can be great for relationships….. For example doing something as a family that is a little challenging, that releases adrenaline, can give us some good bonding moments and help us to appreciate each other.
Novelty is such a great way to enhance our awareness of the present moment and be more mindful– and when we are parenting our routine can feel boring or all the same…sometimes just driving home a different way, going to a new shop, finding some interesting flowers in your street, looking at your loved ones a new way can help to bring back some novelty and be mindful of what we have right here!
Alternatively when I feel really frazzled and like my head is spinning or the kids feel the same I know I need more routine in my life…more calm…
For many of the parents who I see for 1:1 parent coaching, either finding more routine (certainty) or finding more novelty / stimulation (uncertainty) will feature in the strategies we brainstorm.  We cover this in our online classes and workshops for parents www.mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com/onlineclasses 
So what are you going to do this week to find a little more certainty – if you need more routine…or to find a little more uncertainty if you need more adventure & FUN? 🙂 Sara

#mindfulparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parents #parenthood #kids #mindfulness

#mumlife #mom #dad #mother #fatherhood #children #baby #coaching #coachinglife

How to find your inner calm & calm down your kids?

Being With Strong Emotion Pema Chodron's strategies

What do you do to stay calm or calm down?   I’d love to know what works for you…..

I had to use all the mindfulness skills available to me earlier this week to keep calm….and then when I erupted (oops!) – to recover quickly!  No-one can push our buttons like our kids can – and it is often when we are tired, stressed – or need to get to work on time….that we are pushed to our limits!   As Jane Nelson says in Positive Discipline we are aiming for a general direction NOT perfection…so no point beating ourselves up when we revert to old ways….and instead we need to keep practicing and keep noticing the times when we remember our new strategies…when we find a way to stay calm or calm down!

For me what worked this week was:

  • breathing,
  • focusing on my feet,
  • saying to myself this too will pass,
  • looking outside to the view…
  • then doing some LOUD breathing out…
  • then when I did erupt (unfortunately!) keeping it to ‘I’ statements –  limiting the  blame and shame….
  • and afterwards giving both kids huge hugs,
  • apologising for my reaction,
  • talking about what we can do the next morning to prevent the same scenario from happening again….
  • and for me to identify that I need more self-care / me-time so that I have more reserves for handling BIG issues as they come up!

I am passionate about the need for all parents to understand emotions – how they work? how our brains process them? how kids develop emotional intelligence? How we can use mindfulness to find our inner calm and to help our kids to calm down too?

Here is a video I made for our recent How To Talk So Kids Will Listen group on how to deal with Big Feelings.

I’m so excited to have a *NEW* short online course ‘Understanding Emotions’ – you can work through it at your own pace, when it is convenient for you – there are slides , videos & reflective questions to encourage deep learning!  I highly recommend it,  you can free trial some of the videos here  http://mindfulparentingmindfulcoachingonline.thinkific.com/courses/understandingemotions

I’d love your feedback!

Understanding emotions

 

Free Resource: If you would like FREE mindfulness prompts like the one above with strategies on how to deal with a STRONG feeling (yours or your kids) – please sign up at www.mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com or for recommended mindful parenting resources go to www.mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com/resources

 

#mindfulparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parents #parenthood #kids #mindfulness

#mumlife #mom #dad #mother #fatherhood #children #baby #coaching #coachinglife

Keeping kids safe & mindful online…

My biggest parenting challenge right now is screens & the internet – it is ever more intrusive as the kids get older (my 4 are aged between 12-17!) and ‘need’ it for homework, socialising, music, take photos / films, entertainment etc etc….and the battle for screen-free time in our family grows!

No internet

So I’ve been doing a bit of research…and found this great website  on keeping kids safe online http://themodernparent.net/category/digital-safety/contracts/ – I really like the idea of introducing a contract – the earlier the better I think!  There’s some great articles there, worth a look – and I LOVED Martine’s unplugged parenting section http://themodernparent.net/category/parenting-2/unplugged-parenting/ so important for keeping some screen free time in the family!

I have always quoted the AMA research and recommendations that kids only have 2 hours of screen time per day to my kids – as they respond better to hearing that an expert recommends it and it’s not just me making something up!!  But recently the AMA has said they need to change these recommendations because they are no longer realistic – an average 11 year old can spend up to 8 hours a day on the screen (school time included) and a teenager even longer!  This really alarmed me so I had to go and do some more research about the impact of screens / internet use….just in case my kids challenged me again about my 2 hour limit rule!!

Firstly – it is widely researched that for every hour of sedentary behaviour over 2 hours per day – your chance of dying at a younger age is increased compared to those who are more active during the day.  This ALONE is justification for insisting the kids spend less time on their screens at home – given so much of their school day is sitting!  But surely there are other ill effects and here is what I found:

Effects of too much time on the screens:

  • Poor Posture
  • Poor Eyesight
  • Poor Motor skills
  • Disrupted Sleep
  • Increased sedentary behaviour  – poor health,
  • Social isolation and reduced social skills
  • Reduced active play /social interaction crucial for brain development
  • Reduced psychological wellbeing: (self-esteem, jealousy, FOMO,   reduced mood, unable to be alone)
  • young kids who used tablets had poorer short term memory
  • Your body stores more energy than your use

https://www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/kids-teens/switch-off-the-screen.aspx

https://ama.com.au/ausmed/internet-and-our-children%E2%80%99s-health

Just the last point alone – that your body stores more energy than it uses – has a massive impact on kids behaviour and attitude around the house!  I know if my kids spend an hour playing computer games then the next 30 minutes we cop grumpiness and foul moods afterwards!  This is one of the biggest issues I see in my parent coaching – that kids misbehave late afternoon / evening and it is often because they have spent too long on screens and haven’t burnt off their energy in a healthy proactive way after school!

I also saw an alarming documentary recently by the ABC in Australia on wifi – apparently the French government are so concerned re: the effects of wifi in children that they have banned any wifi from being in schools or preschools.   Wireless technology is so new that they don’t yet know the effects it can have on children – but they recommended turning off your wifi at night and keeping it well away from you – hard to do with a tablet or phone…but important information for us to have as parents!

Tips for healthy mindful screen use:

  • You own the wifi/modem – take control!  It can be your most powerful bargaining chip!
  • Negotiate Time Limits – (like budgeting)
  • Role Model – the l;atest reserach said the average adult checks their mobile phone every 6.5 minutes even without a notification – we need to turn it off and be present to our kids…
  • Set Screen Free Times e.g. Screen Free Sundays
  • PLAN AHEAD: negotiate what happens when the time is up!
  • CONTRACT: safe and responsible use & consequences
  • Docking station – for meals & bedtime
  • NO DEVICES IN THE BEDROOM
  • Get involved – know apps, games, social media –check in
  • Teachable moments… good and not good use of social media
  • Physical & Social time: daily physical outdoor & social time
  • Hobbies and Sport: fulfilled & interested in the world
  • Investigate a Net Nanny option – to ensure kid safe websites / browsing only

Http://www.schoolatoz.nsw.edu.au/technology/using-technology/screen-time

http://themodernparent.net/back-school-byod-8-things-parents-can-get-ready/

Our biggest rule which I’m so glad we started when the kids were younger was no screens in the bedroom – and all screens need to be docked in the living room at night – and just to be sure we also turn off the wifi or at times hide the modem!!  This way we can keep an eye on what they are being exposed to!   Our second biggest rule was NEVER give personal details away online or download anything without checking with us first!

We have also started Screen -Free Time on the weekends – where the internet is off except for 2 hours in the afternoon!  It’s just so nice to see the kids talk, play, get creative, go outside and be less moody – when the screens are OFF!  And it is so much healthier for us as adults too – to be screen-free means to be work-free and we can be more mindful – live in the present moment, connect with the kids or do things that are deeply satisfying…

One of my 12 year olds recently commented that being on a screen is like being on a Pokie machine – and it really made me think – it truly is like gambling!  If you watch anyone on their phone they have the same blank stare!    I read something recently that stated every like and notification we get on social media releases a little hit of dopamine – just like gambling – scary stuff!  And kids games are set up in the same way!  As recently stated on the Smiling Mind facebook page ‘ We do it (check notifications) to feel more connected, but it actually has the opposite effect, keeping us in a shallow state of distraction.’

So here is to more screen-free time – it automatically makes you more mindful, and more open to what is happening in the present moment!  It can feel strange at first – even making a whole morning screen-free – the first time we did it the whole family was itching…just as if we were gamblers….to get on to our devices!  It was as if we had forgotten that there is a whole world of stuff to do out there in the real world – including just being and hanging out with each other or reading a book!  We had to do lots of negotiating with the kids and we copped a bit of a backlash – but now it is routine I really enjoy our screen-free time!  We even had to talk to our kids about there being other ways to research your homework, find a recipe (heaven forbid there are recipe books still in our house!!! – our kids were shocked!) and that they could even PHONE a friend!!!

So good luck finding your new mindful screen – free times – I’d love to know what works for you and your family?

 

3 Mindful Practices Online Course

rock cairn shutterstock

So excited the NEW Online 35 Minutes of Mindfulness Online Course is live…

it’s FREE and only 35 minutes long –
If you are keen to explore 3 different mindfulness practices – what would normally be in week 1 of our Mindfulness Practice class – here it is!

https://mindfulparentingmindfulcoachingonline.thinkific.com

I’d really welcome your feedback!!

Hope you are having a Mindful Moment!!

Cheers, Sara 🙂