Mindful Mama Guidance:
Does this resonate?
Feeling lost, chaotic, overwhelmed, disorganized, or generally unhappy - like you are not savoring your children's most precious years?
Seeking more balance, peace or to slow down?
Wanting to be your best self as a parent?
Seeking some direction?
Feeling like your family patterns are taking over?
Why would anyone need parenting "guidance"?
First, this is NOT advice about what to say or how you should raise your children. I am less about concentrating on "controlling behavior" or problematic issues with children and more about YOU, the parent.
Parenting is a manifestation of your development, how you relate, your personality, and history. It is also an expression of our love felt deeply by our children from moment to moment. Essentially, parenting comes from deep WITHIN.
If you are like most people, you tend to parent like your parents. Despite the fact we often wish to "give our children more", we tend to fallback on what we have experienced. People don't usually realize this until there is a need to explore different ways of being with their children. Perhaps this means their children are having behavior problems or they feel burnt out, regardless, usually you are here because you want to do something differently.
Parenting is also influenced by the cultural norms we are still (quite unconsciously) ruled by at times. We are still feeling the generational effects from the early twentieth century ideas when "experts" at the time popularized being able to "spoil a child" (i.e. you were "rewarding" a crying baby by picking it up), and other rather damaging beliefs like "children should be seen but not heard". In part, this thinking was born out of behaviorism and the idea children were merely products of their environment. It turns out children are MUCH more complicated than their "observed behavior" and children don't flourish who are "trained".
Examining yourself, your beliefs, and discovering your values is imperative to parenting. It also affords you deeper self-love and therefore love for your children - I help you do all that!
What informs my practice as a "Mindful Mama"?
- My emphasis is in Integrative Psychology so the whole child, the whole parent and all systems and environments surrounding that relationship become the focus. Where a person is in their development is of particular consideration as well - all imperative aspects to look at parenting.
- I root my approach in mindfulness, attachment theory, and in the work of Harvard psychiatrist Dan Siegel who essentially supports this idea of using mindfulness to wake up to the who and why we are - which - becomes the greatest gift we can give to our children.
- I ground my parenting "language" off the non-judgmental practice of mindfulness, moving away from behaviorism and reward/consequence and often refer to the work of Alfie Kohn.
- This is about a willingness to step into a growth path and become an emotional leader.
How is guidance helpful?
First and foremost, it helps you grow so that you can better evolve in wisdom with your little humans.
Supported by twenty years of research, mindfulness illuminates the necessity of being in the moment... Being in the moment (verses somewhere else past or present, analyzing or judging) we become aware of what is happening in the now, we WAKE up - to wonder, to compassion, to insight and wisdom... VERY helpful for parenting!
Mindfulness grounds us in authenticity, keeps us from automatic patterns, reactivity, centers us on our child, and attunes us with what is actually happening so that we can respond from a deeper place where joy lives. Mindfulness awakens us to our evolutionary purpose - investment in humanity, gives us purpose, and allows us to be the highest version of our self in each moment.
I am a mindfulness practitioner, I was introduced to meditation as a child and established a more regular practice in 2003. In graduate school I naturally gravitated toward mindfulness and specialized in mindfulness-based interventions. Now, almost ten years later, it is at the core of my parenting (not to mention the pillar of my sanity with a toddler). Mindfulness, in conjunction with a healthy and robust attachment inform an approach called The Conscious Connection which you can also access in an e-course as a part of something I have recently co-founded, The Mind Body Mama - on online consortium of Mind Body Wisdom for parents.