As a mindfulness teacher in an elementary school, I'm thrilled that mindfulness has become so popular. (It warmed my heart to see that my mindbodygreen piece, "7 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids Mindfulness," has been shared almost 100,000 times on Facebook!)
In case you’re wondering what mindfulness is, it’s simply the act of bringing your attention to the present moment — including your current thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations — with calm acknowledgment and acceptance.
Mindfulness education is growing in popularity in schools, and for good reason. Research has shown that it can improve focus and concentration, decrease bullying and aggression, increase optimism and happiness in classrooms, help students resolve conflicts, and increase compassion and empathy for others. I’ve certainly seen these results in my students at school, as well as my two daughters at home.
But mindfulness isn’t just for kids. I've found that many of the techniques I teach my students are equally useful for me as a parent.
Juggling the complexities of life with kids in tow can feel like a monumental task, and staying calm and peaceful in the process might seem impossible. Here are seven simple ways to use mindfulness to stay centered — and sane — as a parent: