• Mindfulness In Parenting | iBme | Episode 130

  • Mindfulness in ParentingWe hear a lot about mindfulness these days. It seems like everywhere we turn someone is telling us to be mindful. But what does that really mean? Does mindfulness in parenting really work? How do we incorporate it into our busy lives? Today Corinne Coppola and Charisse Minerva Spencer from iBme (Inward Bound Mindfulness Education) will talk to Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler about mindfulness. They’ll show us what mindfulness is and what it isn’t. They’ll talk about the effect on teens and how mindfulness can impact our parenting. They will even lead us in a mindfulness practice. 



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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response…” Viktor Frankl

    High Points From Our Conversation About Mindfulness in Parenting:

    Mindfulness in parenting allows responseMindfulness is being aware of what’s happening in the present moment and meeting it with curiosity and kindness. When I’m cooking, I’m cooking, When I’m walking, I’m walking. When I’m folding laundry, I’m folding laundry. When I’m singing, I’m singing. I’m fully present with whatever activity I’m doing.

    We can use our 5 senses as a gateway for mindfulness.

    Being mindful is a description of a state of being. Mindfulness is a practice; it’s a verb. 

    Stillness or being relaxed can be a side effect but isn’t necessarily part of it.

    Mindfulness is about being aware. Realizing things like:

      • That person has made me so angry. I can feel my hands shaking. I need to leave this conversation right now and tell them I’ll talk to them later.
      • The smell of that food is so rich and delicious. I’m going to sit here and just be in this space. Where is this showing up in my body now? My mouth is watering. My stomach is growling. I’m so hungry!

    We can use our senses and do more of the practice. This allows us to take a little step back from what we’re experiencing and not be buffeted by the storms of the times we live in.

    Practicing mindfulness creates new neural pathways in our brains.

    Using mindfulness in parenting gives us a space where we can respond rather than react.

    Corinne uses mindfulness in parenting every day. Integrating the practices of mindfulness allows her to make different choices in responding to situations with her kids.

    As parents, we often feel we need to teach or correct. But if we can just make space for our teens to just be with their emotions, and for us to be with our emotions, it usually turns out better in the end. Our brain can come back online and we can choose how we want to respond.

    One way to have mindfulness in parenting, to create that space, is to focus on grounding ourselves with a mindfulness practice. This allows us to stay calm and quiet. It helps us listen to what our child is saying, to validate they are seen and heard. 

    Wiggle your toes when you feel yourself being triggered or getting angry. Moving the focus out of your chest and down to your feet dissipates some of the anxiety.

    Peace pauses are a simple practice for mindfulness in parenting. Set an alarm to go off every few hours. When it goes off, take 5-10 deep breaths and simply notice your feet on the floor. If your thoughts are racing, recognize them then focus on the breathing and feet again rather than following the thoughts.

    Adolescents tend to have lower self-esteem. Self-compassion helps with this. Just knowing “I’m okay” is what they need.

    iBme works with teens in an environment where they become more aware of who they are and they are accepted for who they are. What they have to say is valued and considered wisdom. 

    A note from a teen:

    “I am so grateful to have had you as a teacher. The mindfulness skills that you taught me in school have proved so valuable in my life. I recently began practicing meditation again, and it reminded me of the days spent in your classroom practicing mindfulness. I picture myself sitting in silence with my hands on my lap and feet on the ground listening to the sound of your Tibetan singing bowl and occasional drumming. I don’t think that I realized at the time how valuable those moments were. So, I felt like I needed to reach out to you to express my gratitude now. 

    I also want to express my gratitude for pushing me to do things that I thought were awkward and even embarrassing in school. You challenged me by pushing me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. This has proved to be such a unique and valuable skill. Thank you so much.” ~ Isabella

    When the teens attend retreat they learn about mindfulness. However, they also spend a lot of time communicating.  By the end, there’s more of an understanding of who they are and they can express their needs in a healthier way. This changes the family dynamic.

    Parents can learn how to listen better. They learn to be more kind and loving to themselves.

    iBme now has their retreats and short courses online so parents can also have this experience and learn about mindfulness in parenting.

    Resources Mentioned in Show:

    A mindfulness sit led by Charisse Minerva (the last few minutes of today’s episode: Mindfulness in Parenting episode 130

    iBme teen and young adult retreats (online for 2020) Click here

    iBme all ages retreats (online for 2020) Click here

    iBme courses for teens, parents and other adults: Relational Mindfulness for Parents and Guardians, Climate Change, Rediscovering Our Wildness: Mindfulness and Nature, Celebration and Restoration for Communities of Color, Embodied Sacred Activism: Mindfulness and Social Justice, Nonviolent Communication, and more!  Click here to see all courses

    Our Guests from iBme:

    Charisse and Corinne on Mindfulness in ParentingMinerva is a Community Builder using Creativity, Culture and Contemplative Arts as essential tools for construction.  She has worked with K-12, College, and Young Adults teaching ways to reduce stress while developing tools to support navigating life in the modern world. Mindfulness, drumming, dancing, storytelling, and singing are inherent qualities of being human. I just help us express them. Minerva is a Board Member and Core Faculty for iBme Teacher Training as well as iBme Teen Mindfulness Retreats. My motivation is having youth envision the future they want to see.

    Since 2008, Corinne has dedicated her life to helping young people and their families improve communication and increase awareness so they could lead healthier, happier lives. She has worked with several non-profits, including iBme, to bring mindfulness and wellness practices to a variety of populations and communities. Her most impactful teachers have been her three children, ages 22, 19 and 17, who have brought her the greatest joys and lessons of her life. 

    Our Sponsors:

    Inward Bound Mindfulness Education—iBme— provides In-depth mindfulness programs for teens and young adults. Courses and retreats help them learn awareness, compassion, and concentration practices which develop deep listening skills, self-awareness, and communication—essential competencies for success in all areas of life. Offerings have expanded to include courses for parents and other adults; all available online for 2020. Click here to see current courses and retreats.

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