- stress reduction
- Mindfulness is about slowing down and becoming more present to your inner experience of thoughts, feelings and sensations.
How can we maintain a more calm patient state with our kids?
What are some of the secrets of reducing stress and balancing emotional needs in the family?
Do you sometimes wonder WHY such intense emotions get triggered by your child?
Would you benefit from some simple techniques to help you keep your cool when your child is acting out?
Peaceful Self-Parenting - developing the self-care and self-healing practices to fill your emotional cup
Audio interview - Being a Mindful, Conscious Parent
In this audio, Genevieve is interviewed by Holly Wood for the Shift Network's Summit of Peace Telesummit. It will look different for each parent or indeed teacher, but every adult who has the responsibility of caring for children needs to weave mindfulness practices into their daily lives.
There are many ways to do this and Genevieve talks about some of them in this interview, but the result needs to be times when we slow down, do some inner reflection and gain more connection with our inner world. Mindfulness practices allow us to be more connected with ourselves, to better identify what we're thinking and feeling and needing. We need to be attuned with ourselves if we're to be more tuned in and sensitive with our children.
An affirmation like “I observe these sensations” can help to keep your mind focused on your experience in this moment. This affirmation has lived on with me since doing a Vipassana 10-day silent meditation retreat in India in my twenties. When we observe with the aim to accept rather than change, fix or push away our thoughts, feelings and sensations, we evoke our witness consciousness, as it’s called in certain spiritual circles.
Or as Neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegal explains it, we’re applying the more logical perspective of our higher brain’s thinking (the prefrontal cortex or upstairs brain) to the heightened emotions in the limbic and brain stem (or downstairs brain as he calls it), which reduces mental and emotional chaos.
Stress hijacks your child’s brain. A certain amount of stress is normal, unavoidable and indeed necessary. Yet, children are very sensitive to stress and don’t function very well when stress levels rise and they don’t get enough relief.
This article offers 13 easy ways that you can bring mindfulness into your child's daily life and help them develop more mindfulness in their thoughts, feelings and actions.
Becoming mindfully present again and again rewires the brain. Every time a parent acknowledges that their child is stressed, they support and encourage them to be more mindful of their own stress levels. But the good news is that according to the neuroscientists, the more we repeat an activity, the more likely we are to repeat it.
Stress reduction and Mindful Parenting seminar in Dunedin.
In this video, Genevieve talks with parents about the importance of being mindfully conscious of their stress levels and how their stress if impacting their child. The more conscious a parent is of what's happening in their inner world of thoughts, feelings and sensations, the more likely they are to stop, pause and resist the urge to speak or act in a way that will result in impacting their child with their stress. And the more we weave healthy self-care and mindfulness practices into our day - any action that allows us to slow down and become more conscious - the less likely a parent is to reach that point of overwhelm.
Start: Managing behaviour in the family is about managing stress. Managing our child's behaviour, hence stress levels, depends on our ability to manage our own stress and hence behaviour. The more mindful we are of our inner experiences of feelings, thoughts and sensations, the easier it is to manage our stress.
3.55 Genevieve guides participants to take a couple of minutes to bring their awareness into their bodies and release some stress.
7 Every family member needs to share the sweet moments, the connection, the shared joy. The importance of remembering that other family members are craving more harmony, craving to feel seen, heard, understood, cared for. When we remember this at times of conflict, it helps us come back to the heart and hence helps us manage our stress so we can help our child (or partner!) manage their stress.
9 How we can bring ourselves out of the stress response by managing our breathing. When you slow down and deepen your breathing, you help your body feel safe enough to come out of the stress response.
10 The importance of coming back to the parasympathetic nervous system if we are to digest and let in the goodness from both our food and from our family members.
11 Every parent desires to be more patient, to better manage the stresses, pressures and frustrations. Remembering this helps us to be more compassionate towards ourselves.
11.50 When children feel securely attached and bonded with their parent/ caregivers, this creates the foundation for their healthy development of empathy, emotional regulation, integrity, developing moral compass, development of impulse control, willing cooperation. When a child is secure in the warm holding of their caregiver they can cope better, think better, cooperate better, more energy goes into their healthy development on all levels.
14.15 How our child's behaviour makes us feel can give us some insights into how they're feeling and hence what they need to come back to balance.
14.30 Example of a 4y.o. going through a period of being super controlling, bossy and either clinging to or rejecting parent. What the child is communicating through their behaviour and what they might need.
17 When parents reason with their child to be less selfish and more giving, to be less whining and complaining and to better express themselves, to be more compassionate, more confident and less nervous, more cooperative and less reactive. The limitations of trying to reach children on the reasoning/ thinking level. The importance of reaching them on the heart and emotional level.
18.30 Similarities and differences between neurotypical and atypical children.
19 The importance of US modelling the emotional self-regulation. How would you have felt as a child if your parent really owned and responsibility verbalised the importance of managing their stress.
20 Giving children the message "I was acting like that because I was all stressed and dysregulated" and how this teaches children to do the same.
23 When a parent or teacher feels more secure and less stressed, they're less inclined to take their child's resistance personally.
24 The child's behaviour is about their feelings and their needs, it's a call for more support.
25.10 Genevieve explains the stress cycle that family members get locked into. Stress and unmet needs leads to a break down of warm connection, leads to child feeling rejected and needy, leads to child building up frustrations and anger and sadness, leads to dysregulated behaviour, leads to parent reacting, more stress, more pressure, further breakdown of connection etc.
26 Children generally need a lot more emotional support than is generally considered acceptable. When children are "just looking for attention" it's because they need and deserve attention. Even if the parent can't give it to them, their needs are still understandable and deserving.
27 When child is sad about separation from parent, let them know that you're also sad about it, not to evoke their sympathy but to help validate that it's normal and understandable to miss each other. Grant their wish in fantasy "wouldn't it be great if we could stay at home together and play all day long".
28 We parents were trained to contain and repress our emotions. For children it takes years to achieve that level of either emotional repression or emotional maturity. PP fosters healthy emotional maturity. Authoritarian forces children to hide/ get rid of their frustrations and big feelings that drive their misbehaviour.
29.30 Boys are particularly at risk of emotional repression. How sad it is that most children gain very little emotional support past the age of 3.
31 Why parents lecture and criticize children? It's easy to be reactive, to lecture and criticize our children, our conditioning and our stress drives us to gain an outlet through criticizing children.
32.30 How to get out of the power struggles "do it!" "I don't want to do it", "just do it whether you want to or not". Parents tend to think that the lack of harmony of their child's fault. It's easy to forget that it's our stress levels and the level of connection our child can access that warmth from us.
34.35 Identifying the feelings and the needs and coming back to caring for the feelings starts to take us out of the stress cycle.
37 To come out of the power struggle, stop, drop, come down to their level and connect again.
38 When a child feels liked, they can feel good about who they are.
38.30 An example of Genevieve's son acknowledging family member's stress while giving reassurance that we would get through it.
40 -46 Genevieve talks about where her journey of changing patterns and healing began. Family violence and sexual abuse.
43 Why and how G decided to spealise in parent education and coaching.
46.46 When our child's behaviour triggers us, learning to identify "what am I feeling, what do I need?"
48 Being more mindful of the thoughts, voices and beliefs in our heads that became implanted in childhood.
49 What we learned about crying from our parents and how they impacted us.
52 Ways that we can release stress and resolve trauma: Breathing. Moving the body to consciously release stress. Softening and loosening the body allows the body to release. Walking, jogging, jumping on the trampoline. Being vulnerable when feeling safe, crying, raging. EFT Emotional Freedom Technique; tapping.
57 Reducing stress through healing body with nutritents and balancing hormones like GABA, seratonin, progresterone, dopamine etc.
Other supportive membership resources for those dedicated to being a more Mindful, Conscious Parent
Developing a regular meditation practice (you can also type meditation into the search to find related topics)
There are several helpful relevant resources; videos, articles and discussions in the Self-Healing Group