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Feeling anxious? This Can Help.

Remember your child as a baby? When they accidentally hit their head on the side of the crib or get startled awake by a loud noise? Seconds tick by slowly as you wait for the sound of that gulp for air — usually followed by a piercing cry.

Breathing: it’s probably the most hard-wired, involuntary function we do as human beings. Every creature, great or small, breathes. Breathing gives us life, and we don’t even have to think about doing it — you inhale and exhale as reflexively as your heart beats in your chest.

But despite the fact that breath keeps us alive, we tend to take it for granted.

The Harvard Business Review and the Yale News both recently conducted studies revealing the effectiveness of SKY Breath Meditation, a breathing modality that engages the parasympathetic nervous system — the part of your brain that controls rational thinking, gives you a sense of calm and provides balance in stressful situations. Participants in both studies reported a better sense of well-being and mental health after just two days of practicing the methods.

As someone who has been trained in SKY Breath Meditation for 10 years, I can attest that breath does so much more than supply your body with oxygen. The way you breathe can have a big influence on how you feel and experience the world.

If you’ve been stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed — by current events, the holiday season, or your kid’s insistence on listening to “Baby Shark” on repeat — you’re not alone.

Here are some tips to help you literally catch a breather (share them with your child too!):

  • Deeper inhales and longer exhales. What happens when your child cries? Their breaths turn to hiccups. The same thing happens when we feel stressed or sad. When you start breathing rapidly, consciously focus on taking deep inhales and long exhales. Count to 4 for inhales, 8 for exhales (or as close as you can comfortably get). The fog in your brain will clear up in seconds.
  • Do some quick, light stretching. Pressured by deadlines at work and the mounting pile of laundry at home? Take 5 minutes for a quick stretch break. Full-body activities like a yoga sun salutation get your blood flowing with good oxygen and help relieve stress.
  • Carve out time for meditation. Ten minutes is ample time for you to feel the positive effects of your breathing/meditation practice. Don’t have 10 minutes? Take 2 minutes, if that’s what you have. Find a quiet spot to sit in and breathe deeply. Check out our work with America Meditates by Art of Living.

Learning to control your breath can help rid your body of stress and flood you with positive energy. Not only will you feel more in control of yourself, but you’re also providing an excellent model for your children about the importance of self-care.

Supportive breathing is just one technique for becoming the parent you want to be. If you’re interested in true parenting transformation check out the 90 Day Parenting Reset Program.

Love and Blessings,
Katherine

PS To start 2023, we’re offering you 70% off of ANY of our supplemental parenting tools! That includes the Ultimate Parenting Toolbox, Applying Solutions Mini Course, and our Conscious Parenting Kickstart! Just go to our Conscious Parenting Revolution site and use the code TAKE ACTION at checkout. I’m so excited to dive deeper into this journey with you!

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Culture Growth Health and Wellness Human Resources Leadership Personal Development

Is Your Teen Rebelling, Resisting, and Retaliating?

Is your teenager’s defiant behavior ruling your family life?

The teenage years are challenging, leaving many parents and caregivers at a loss. But in fact, there’s a perfectly legitimate explanation for their behavior. During adolescence, humans begin developing their prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain responsible for making judgments, weighing pros and cons, and managing emotional responses.

This critical part of the brain continues developing until the mid-20s, making it difficult for teenagers to think critically and manage their moods. Research even shows that teens often misread cues and facial expressions…and are more likely to interpret them as being shocked or angry.

Yikes! Combined with the flood of new hormones coursing through their bodies, it’s no wonder your teen walks around constantly sighing, rolling their eyes, and slamming doors!

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Understanding the Three Rs

According to child psychologist Dr. Louise Porter, who I co-authored the Guidance Approach to Parenting with, 75% of family disruptions result from what Dr. Thomas Gordon called the Three Rs: Resistance, Rebellion, and Retaliation.

When your child refuses to walk beside you at the mall, they’re resisting. When they go to a party instead of doing their homework, they’re rebelling. When they’re aggressive with their siblings because they feel misunderstood, they’re retaliating.

Teens’ defiant behavior is a reaction to power and control being imposed over them and is the classic activation of those 3Rs mentioned above. The lack of control over their emotions and bodies, combined with their legitimate need for self-direction and autonomy that is thwarted by many parents, causes them to “act out.”

As parents, we owe it to our teenagers to practice empathy and do our best to understand where they’re coming from. To combat normal but challenging behaviors, we have to give them the autonomy they crave while still ensuring their safety and well-being

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7 Practical Tips for Managing Your Teen’s Behavior

The 3Rs can be eliminated by using the Guidance Approach to Parenting.  The reason the 3Rs surface is that controlling discipline activates them. The way to prevent them from surfacing is to never activate them in the first place. My TEDx talk, “The Rebellion is Here: We Created It and We Can Solve It,” has more detail about how the process works.

These practical tips can make a world of difference: 

1. When tempers rise, disengage. If your teen is defensive or upset, postpone heavy conversations for a later time. Give them space to calm down and think things over. You’ll benefit from this space, too.

2. Set age-appropriate guidelines. Give your teenagers the independence they crave, setting age-appropriate guidelines. What’s reasonable for a 13-year-old is probably too restrictive for a 16-year-old, so use your judgment and be open to feedback. Create solutions together, seeking clarity so everyone’s on the same page: “So are you saying you would feel better if I let you do your own thing from 2-5 pm on Saturdays, as long as you tell me where you’re going and with whom?”

3. Find common ground. Connect with your child by finding activities you both enjoy. Watch a movie together, go get ice cream, or play a favorite sport. Engaging in shared interests fosters a positive environment for meaningful connection. If your teen starts opening up about their life, listen and invite them to tell you more! Be careful not to use the 12 roadblocks to communication or will go awry!

Is Your Teen Rebelling, Resisting, and Retaliating

4. Respond, don’t react. When your teenager confides in you for the first time about, say, a boy they’re interested in, resist the urge to freak out! Drop the “my baby” perspective and be as objective as you can. Give advice like you would to a friend, assuring your teen that they can talk to you about anything—even the uncomfortable stuff.

5. Avoid phrases like “You never” and “You always.” Nothing sparks defensiveness more than the words “never” and “always.” Reframe your language to be non-accusatory. Instead of, “You’re always late for school!” say “I’ve received some reports about lateness from your school; is everything okay?”

6. Respect their privacy. With so much happening in their minds and bodies, teens can be extremely self-conscious about, well, everything. Respect their budding sense of self. That means no snooping in bedrooms, phones, laptops, or social media. Build trust with your teen, and they’ll feel empowered to tell you what’s going on.

7. Help them understand the changes in their body. Teens are better equipped at handling physiological changes when they’re fully aware of what’s happening. If they don’t want to talk to you about these changes, enlist the help of a trusted family member, friend, or counselor.

As your teenager navigates this complex period in their lives, it’s critical for parents to provide the support they desperately need.

Still feeling daunted? Parents need support, too! Our private FB community can help you chart these churning waters. Join us inside the Facebook Group for Tuesday Tips for Parents, Tuesdays at 6:10 pm PST. Our team of coaches streams in live every week to answer all your parenting questions.

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Growth Personal Development

Let’s talk it over… | Conscious Parenting Revolution

In the United States last year, we were just weeks away from a presidential election. The last few weeks, months, and even years have been fraught, politicized, and polarized. With everyone yelling over each other, there’s not a lot of listening going on.

As I teach in the Guidance Approach to Parenting, effective communication is crucial to maintaining healthy relationships and creating a physically and emotionally safe environment.

We’re always going to come across people who we disagree with. Getting into a shouting match, battling it out over social media, or pretending people who think differently than you don’t exist aren’t productive ways to handle those disagreements.

Instead, we need to acknowledge our differences, engage with each other as human beings, and encourage open and respectful dialogue.

This video-yes, it’s an ad, but worth the watch-is a great example of what effective, compassionate communication can look like:

Next time you’re talking to someone with different views than yours (your toddler or your teenage maybe?), don’t judge. Don’t try to convince. Don’t even look for all the things you might have in common. Simply focus on the person sitting across from you. You don’t “win” the conversation by proving that your point of view is the right one. You win by making a genuine connection with another human being.

Really listening can be hard when someone else’s perspective is so different than your own. Staying out of judgment is key. Also seeing beliefs as an attempt to meet needs. Beliefs tie into our values and give us a way to explain and understand our lives. If we see everyone else’s beliefs are doing this for them too, shifting a belief could be a fisk to belongingness with their tribe. A belief could tie directly back to a need for connection or understanding.

Successful dialogue doesn’t always mean you walk away from being on the same side. Goodness knows we don’t always see eye to eye with our kids. It’s about showing up, connecting, and listening to what the other person has to say.

Want more support to transform your family dynamics? Join us for the 5 Day Parenting Reboot

Originally published at https://www.consciousparentingrevolution.com on October 23, 2020.

Categories
Growth Personal Development

“Boo!” said a ghost from 6 feet away

Who doesn’t love trick-or-treating? I have fond memories of Halloween: costumes, face paint, going door-to-door around the neighborhood, and candy-so much candy!

This year, like last, will be different. Some of you won’t feel comfortable with your kids gathering together to trick-or-treat. Costume parties may be postponed until next year. Maybe you won’t even be opening doors to hand out candy. But that doesn’t mean all the fun has to be canceled.

It’s important to find ways to celebrate holidays and milestones while still acknowledging our current reality. Not only will you model resilience and adaptability for your kids, but you might also even discover a new family tradition!

Here are some ideas on how to have a fun-while-socially-distant Halloween celebration:

Trunk or Treating. Instead of handing out candy in person, decorate the back of your car’s trunk with Halloween streamers and baskets of candy. Your neighbors can walk past your house, help themselves to the baskets, and give you a wave to say thanks!

Check out your local community events. Maybe your neighborhood is hosting a drive-by parade. I’ve seen neighborhoods that are putting up creepy decorations on trees and lamp posts and dubbing them “haunted roads.” To keep it simple, tour your neighborhood to look at house decorations or catch a Halloween flick at a drive-in movie theater.

Host a Zoom costume party. Who says Zoom has to be all about work? Invite friends and family members to a virtual costume party. This way, you still get to appreciate each other’s costumes.

Carve (or color) pumpkins. Pumpkin decorating is a great crafting activity for kids of all ages. If your kids are too young for carving, set them loose with some magic markers or glitter pens instead!

Bake some spooky treats. Bake and send Halloween-themed cookies to your friends and family. It’s a good way of letting them know you’re thinking of them, even if you can’t celebrate together.

Hold a spooky house competition. Create a spooky house competition with your neighbors! Have those who want to join decorate their homes, and then do an online vote on Halloween night. A good example of doing something fun together, apart.

Halloween this year doesn’t have to be a drag. So go forth, have some socially distant fun, and share a picture of your celebrations inside our Facebook group. I’m excited to see what your family is getting up to!

P.S. Want more support to transform your family dynamics? Join us for the 5 Day Parenting Reboot, launching September 13th!



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