About the book:
Rooted in the science of the brain and integrating cognitive neuroscience and child development, MINDFUL PARENTING: Simple and powerful solutions for raising creative, engaged, happy kids in today's hectic world (St. Martin's Griffin; January 7, 2014) by Kristen Race, Ph.D. is a unique program that speaks directly to today's busy families who make up what Dr. Race calls "Generation Stress."
Research has shown that mindfulness practices stimulate the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Regular stimulation of this part of the brain helps us feel happier, healthier, calmer, less anxious, less stressed, and makes it easier for us to concentrate and think clearly -- the very behavior we are hoping our children will display.
Mindful Parenting understand the realities of raising a family in our fast paced and often-frenetic world and provides hundreds of easy-to-implement solutions, both for parents and their children, to help them manage stress, create peace, and live happier lives.
A Guest Post from Author Kristen Race, Ph.D.
She had attended a lecture on brain development and came away convinced that she needed to make a change. While she has been doing a great job and has noticed a significant improvement in her interactions with her kids, she recently told me she was feeling overwhelmed and stressed out and she was having a hard time staying true to her commitment.
This time of year can be filled with so much anticipation and excitement. Unfortunately, this time of year is also filled with packed schedules, financial stress and the impossible task of making each holiday perfect for everyone in your immediate and extended family.
While our intent is to create a wonderful holiday experience for our families, oftentimes this vision is unrealistic. Stress can build, and we end up taking it out on those closest to us.
This got me thinking about a newsletter I wrote a few years ago. I wanted to share it with many of you who have not seen it as a gentle reminder to be mindful of our interactions with our kids this time of year.
Parenting: It Doesn't Come in a Can
"It doesn't come in a can" was a favorite saying of a friend of mine's father. He was a golf pro, and when he said this he was referring to golf, most of the time. I have been thinking about this saying in reference to parenting a lot recently.
I think a lot of people parent out of instinct. They figure they will go with what their gut tells them to do. I take issue with this parenting style.
Back to the golf thing for a second. When I set up to hit a golf ball off the tee on a par 5, my instincts tell me to swing as hard as I possibly can and hit the living you-know-what out of the ball. If you know anything about golf, then you probably know how well that will turn out -- slice, hook, or most likely whiff the ball altogether. To drive a ball down the middle of the fairway takes a smooth swing, a ton of practice, and most importantly a calm state of mind.
Back to parenting. When kids don't listen, our instincts tell us to speak louder, and louder, and louder. Here is the flaw with our instincts. When you yell at your kids, you are disrupting healthy brain development.
Back to golf. No amount of instinct, no matter how talented you may be, is going to win you a golf tournament. It takes practice, a lot of practice. It takes lessons from someone who knows how to play golf. And more than anything, it takes a calm state of mind. And parenting ... you get the idea -- it doesn't come in a can.
Sadly, most people I know will spend more time and money on learning to play golf than learning to be a good parent. If you know someone like that (perhaps your husband or your wife), please encourage them to read a good parenting book, learn from a good parent, practice what will be the most important job they will ever have and remind them, it doesn't come in a can.
What's Your Favorite Parenting Saying?
See this video to watch Kristen discuss the brain science behind the book and visit her website to learn more about mindfulness practices!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of the book, Mindful Parenting: Simple and powerful solutions for raising creative, engaged, happy kids in today's hectic world, by Kristen Race, Ph.D. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 11:59 PM EST on January 21, 2014.
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