Guest Post: How To Stay Mindful and Raise A Mindful Kid

Mindfulness. It’s something I aspire to, and yet I find myself feeling un-present almost constantly these days. Perhaps it’s the summer and the loss of a regular schedule, but I feel a bit untethered. I find it hard to carve out time to make it to a yoga class. I’ve abandoned my meditation practice in exchange for sleeping in. And my kids are even more squirmy than I remember them being during the school year.

Seriously, we could all use to be more present and enjoy the moment we’re in. This moment. And now this one. And this one. And so on, and so on.

But considering I’m having a hard time ensuring that we’re all getting showers every day, getting my kids to sit with me and meditate on a daily basis seems impossible.

Which is why this guest post comes at a perfect time! Allow me to introduce you Mansi, a yogi who offers some easy tips for helping you stay present as a parent, and techniques for raising a mindful child (without them even knowing you’re doing it!).

Have you ever wondered about the difference between these two words – ‘respond’ and ‘react’?

I did.

And surprisingly, I did it when I was yelling at my young niece for spilling milk at a time when I was running late for my office. I looked at her terrified face which quickly filled with an innocent giggle as she tried to wipe the milk off the table using a napkin.

I realized, the difference between ‘respond’ and ‘react’ is not of ‘speech’ and ‘action’, but of the number of breaths. The difference is of mindfulness.

Since I just introduced you this confusing word, let me also tell you that mindfulness is nothing but a fancy word for ‘the act of paying attention to the present’. It is by far, the easiest way to reap the benefits of meditative practice.

Exhausting, frustrating, exhilarating, rewarding, satisfying – these are some of the words which people use to describe parenting. No matter how many books you read or classes you take, you’ll never find yourself fully prepared for the parenting challenge. You feel pulled and pushed in every direction.

So, taking time out to breathe, staying calm and being mindful, can be another overload. But like they say – it pays to be mindful.

Being A Mindful Parent

Mindful parenting is all about taking a pause and breathing. A pause to let you know what your kid is feeling and then to ‘respond’ to his needs rather than ‘reacting’ to his behavior. So, the technique for the parents is – Stop, Pause, and Play.

Robert Fulghum once said, “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”

Science tells us that a kid develops and learns to comprehend emotions during his initial five years of life. The reasoning and judging center, on the other hand, develops between the age of  3-6 years. What we do as a parent then, and how we react can leave a lasting impression on the kid.

Also, teaching a kid mindfulness at that age will make him inherently grow into a cheerful, calm and creative adult. Now, we do know what a “battle” it is to make them sit still, let alone convince them to meditate.

Hence, today I’m giving you ways to introduce mindfulness to your kids without even letting them know. It’s like the two of you having fun together. You become mindful, the kid becomes mindful, and you both connect at a deeper level. Could there be anything better than this?

Raising A Mindful Kid

1. The most commonly used technique is mindful breathing, but it does not interests most kids. So, the first step is to choose an activity that resonates with your kid.

2. If your kid is a picky eater, teaching mindfulness through food and savoring flavors might not be a great idea.

So, for a kid who responds better when stimulated visually, make use of things like a glitter jar or a snow globe. Shake it up and watch them fall to the bottom.

3. Whistle blowing and listening to its echo is another good idea.

4. Older kids can easily learn breathing techniques but younger kids will need something to focus their breath on. This is what you can do – Take a stuffed toy and place it on their tummy as they lie down on the bed before going to sleep. Ask them to breathe in such a way that the teddy feels cradled up and down.

5. I once read about this flower-bubble method which I often use with my niece.

We keep a flower in one hand and a bubble blower in another. Then, we take a deep breath to smell the flower, make a smiley or funky face at each other while holding our breaths, and blow the air out into a bubble. This activity worked wonders for our bonding and we now talk about so many different things.

You must understand that you can’t give your children what you don’t have. So, begin with yourself. Don’t worry about dedicating a special space to this in your schedule. Next time, you feel like reacting, just Stop…Pause…Play…and respond.

Author Bio:

Hi! I’m Mansi, a Yoga devotee at home and an Editor at Workout Trends Magazine. Dabbling with health and fitness news is my work while playing around with poses and poetry my passion. Reach out to me at or add me to your and stay in touch.




So.  Week 1.  Done.

Weaning off of the meds is going.  Not really horrible, not amazingly easy.  It’s just…going.  I am proceeding slowly, so I don’t know if I feel what I’m feeling because I KNOW I’m not taking in as much, or if it really is a withdrawal symptom.  I’m down to a half-dose every other day, and starting today I will be taking a half-dose every day until next week, where I’ll cut down to 1/4 dose every other day, slowly phasing out until I’m done.  The first couple of days?  Intense headaches that lasted all day.  Those have gone away.  Now what I’m left with is a tiny feeling of anxiety most of the time, like a little mouse is running on a wheel in my chest.  And some sweaty nights.  I’m über-irritable.  I have snapped at just about every one in this house more than I should.  I’m not proud. 

Yet, it is time to suck it up and get a grip.  I know I have it in me to do this, to be the kind of parent and person I want to be without having to rely on anti-depressants to get the job done.  I just have to believe it and live it.  The times when I’m with just one kid, I feel like my old self again.  The Original Mommy.  One on one, I am Spectacular Mom.  Patient, playful, funny.  With two?  I’m Mommy Dearest.  And that sucks.  With two, I feel like I’m constantly in demand.  And then I become resentful.  Resentful of my darling husband that has the freedom to shower, take a shit, and get dressed, more often than not and more often than me, without interruption (knowing full well that this statement is a HUGE generalization, not always true, and that he works amazingly hard so that I can stay home with our kids and how dare I not feel grateful?).  I feel exhasuted and taken for granted when I spend an hour after the kids go to bed cleaning up after just about everyone.  And I find myself wanting to use that phrase I heard my mother say…”I’m not your maid.”

Even as I type that paragraph above, I feel like a brat.  My husband does way more than most, more than me even. And my kids are good kids.  Sure, they don’t pick up every toy.  But they are decent listeners and they just love to take inventory of their fun stuff.  Totally typical.  And really?  I shouldn’t take it so personally.  They aren’t tossing their toys out of toy boxes just to get at me and make me angry.  They’re doing it because they are 5 and 2 and that is their job.

See?  Removed from the situation, I can be calm and reasonable.  But in the thick of things, I let my emotions get the best of me.  And that is not what I want my children to remember about me or their childhood.  But that whole remembering to be mindful thing is just so hard. 

Lately I’ve been feeling as though wearing something at all times might help.  Something tangible, something I can see to remind myself to slow down my breathing, remember to be mindful.  Like a bracelet.  Is that why Buddhists where those beads?  Or Kabbalah’s wear the red string?  I don’t want to really purchase anything, so about a week ago I went rumaging through my jewerly box.  I’m still searching for the right thing.  The one bracelet I have been wearing this week is too bulky, and it’s difficult to type or write when wearing it.  I’ve also gotten my hair stuck in it a few times.  Ouch!

I do like how I can feel it.  I’ve tried another little beaded bracelet, and it was so thin and lightweight that I hardly noticed it was around my wrist.

Anyone have any ideas?  I’m open…