NORFOLK- The beginning of a new year is a great time to commit to making changes that improve family life and reduce stress.

Most of us are familiar with multi-tasking. The opposite of multi-tasking is mindfulness.

Michele Tryon, CHKD community outreach coordinator, says there are some things you can do to incorporate Mindfulness into your parenting.

Tip 1: What is Mindfulness and Mindful Parenting?
Mindfulness is an emerging concept based on ancient wisdom and reinforced by contemporary research.
Mindful parenting is taking a break from the fast track and allowing yourself to be aware, reflect and respond to yourself and your children with compassion and non-judgment.
When parents and children are working on mindfulness together they feel connected and connection leads to cooperation.

Tip 2: What are some of the steps to mindfulness and can it be taught to children?
There are three phases in mindful parenting
o Mindful Awareness being conscious of your state(s) of well-being
o Self-Intervention coming into balance
o Deliberate Action responding with intention or devising a plan

According to the research, even short periods of attention to your physical, emotional and mental state along with regulating your emotions and choosing your response can lead to less stress and more satisfaction in the parent child relationship.
Many times children are overstimulated by all the things going on around them. They get distracted and parents can get frustrated with their inattentiveness. Mindful parenting teaches parents how to respond in ways that help children take important steps in self-discipline.
We can teach children simple breathing techniques or have them take 'brain breaks' in order to increase their ability to pay attention and to cooperate.

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