EIP PRESENT: PARENTAL EDUCATION SERIES – PART 2
Most parenting advice centers around the needs of the child. While this is often a helpful approach, it’s easy for parents to neglect their own emotional needs and focus on fixing or altering the behavior of their child. It is important that we not only recognize and meet our children’s needs but that we also model for them what it looks like to care for ourselves.
Many parents are tired and overwhelmed. Work, childcare, household chores, and family obligations can zap our energy. The pandemic has added additional levels of stress these past two years and it’s easy to feel as though we are always falling short.
When life is stressful, we often pull away from what is happening in the present moment. Our bodies can become flooded with hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which create a fight of flight response. As a result, we are less capable of making calm and creative decisions. Mindfulness practices are simple ways to keep us in the moment where we can respond more wisely.
We can activate the problem-solving part of the brain by engaging in mindful awareness and staying in the moment. When we take a moment to reset our brains, our nervous system is able to support more creative, compassionate, and kind responses. We can proceed with a calmer heart and more present mind.
The videos below introduce simple ways to engage in mindfulness practices with your child. They can be easily built into your everyday routine to support your child’s social emotional health as well as your own.
Please note, the child in the video is of school-age but these practices can easily be done with younger children. The goal is not perfection but to spend a few minutes connecting with your child.
Ep. 5 – Breath Practices to Calm and Anxious Mind and Heart
Demonstrates a simple tool we have in our bodies to help us calm down.
- Breathing practices
- Grounding Mudra
Ep. 6 – Kid-Friendly Yoga
Yoga is a fun way to get children into their bodies and use their imagination.
- Mountain Pose – Strength and Pride
- Volcano Breathing – Releases pent up energy
- Giraffe Pose – Stretching and Relaxation
- Tornado Twirling – Limber, Vitality, Stress Release
EP. 7 – The 3 Step Grounding Practice
Helps reset our brain to keep us in the present moment and respond wisely.
- Broad awareness – taking account of the situation we’re in
- Grounding – Drop into our senses
- Expanding – The situation hasn’t changed, we have.
Ep. 8 – The S.T.O.P. Practice
Helps us bring mindful awareness to stressful situations.
- S is for STOP and PAUSE – quit moving the body and allow the mind to show up
- T is for Take A Breath – feel into the senses
- O is for Open, Opportunities, and Options – opportunity to slow down and ask what would be the best way to respond to the situation.
- P – Pause again, Proceed when ready – when we feel ready, we proceed and advocate for ourselves and our kids.
KAC’s Parental Education Series is brought to you by a Social Emotional (SE) Development Grant from WI DHS. The initial goal of the grant is to enhance SE health and build family capacity by focusing on improving parent responsiveness to the SE needs of children, including communication, play, recognizing and regulating emotions, and relationship building. The first introduction of KAC’s Parental Education Series is available HERE.
Our team continuously works to provide additional educational resources for parents and families. For more information, click here to learn about KAC’s Children Services.