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Registration now open: 🪷 MINDFUL TEENS PDX 🪷A Six-Week Mindfulness Class for Portland Teens 13–17CLICK TO LEARN MORE & REGISTER ➔

Hi, I’m Noelle Wittliff.

I’m a Mother of two, Family Therapist, Meditation Teacher, Trauma Resiliency Specialist, and Mindful Parenting Coach. I teach parents effective tools to reduce stress and overwhelm and strategies to raise resilient, secure, and confident kids. With twenty years of experience, I help families learn, grow, and heal in lasting ways. I look forward to supporting you on your journey. Click below to schedule a parenting consultation!

“Taking Noelle’s Mindful Parenting course was one of the biggest gifts I’ve given myself.”

Read more reviews of Mindful Parenting

We were all concerned about the impact that the pandemic closures had on our kids, and teens especially seemed the hardest hit by social isolation. ⁠
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Now that we’ve reintegrated back into the social world, it’s time to check in with our teens to help them process all that they’ve experienced over the last few years of their young lives. ⁠
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A colleague of mine reached out a few months ago sharing similar concerns and we got to work creating an in-person mindfulness class for teens that focuses on stress reduction, mindfulness, self-compassion, and resiliency building. ⁠
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If you have a teen, or know a teen in the Portland area, please pass along this information. We’d love to have them join our class, beginning on April 15. Space is limited to 15 participants, so please register early to ensure a spot!⁠
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Link in bio for schedule, format, registration, and teacher bios.
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Our teens need this support more than ever and we look forward to welcoming them to Mindful Teens PDX.⁠
🌈 I spotted this lovely sign at a Michael's craft store and wanted to share it today on Transgender Day of Visibility.⁠
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🏳️‍⚧️ Today is a day for us to honor and celebrate the lives, courage, resilience, and contributions of trans and non-binary folks around the world. ⁠
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🤗 Respecting pronouns and chosen names is a simple and meaningful way to honor the dignity and identity of gender expansive people, allowing them to feel validated and affirmed. ⁠
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On Trans Day of Visibility, please add your name to the Human Rights Campaign “Count Me In” initiative to show your support and to protect trans and non-binary youth from discrimination. (Link in bio.)⁠
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🌟Mindful parenting is not about scripts or quick fixes. Its foundation is rooted in a practice of kindness, curiosity, and presence. ⁠
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🥰 A daily meditation practice strengthens our ability to remain grounded and connected to ourselves and our families. ⁠
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🧘🏽 If you're new to meditation, I invite you to set a timer for one minute a day, find a comfortable way to sit, close your eyes, and just notice your breath - your inhales and exhales. ⁠
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💖 In a few days, you might increase the time to 2 minutes. Notice how that feels. The benefits of a consistent practice are cumulative and can be profound. ⁠
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🎑 Image description: A quote from Noelle that reads: Mindful Parenting is an intentional practice that requires presence and consistency rather than a quick fix. What it offers instead is a lifelong trusting, close, and respectful relationship between parent and child.
In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day, I'm sharing a recent kindness quilt that we made in the children's mindfulness class that I teach. 💗⁠
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We first reflected on what it means to practice kindness and then drew or wrote about a recent act of kindness that we either received or offered to someone else. ⁠
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We assembled all of our drawings into a “quilt” that now hangs in our children’s sangha classroom. It's a beautiful reminder that we can always choose a kind response.⁠
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🙌 💗 Self-care is NOT selfish. In fact it's the opposite. It took me a long time in my parenting journey to not feel guilty for taking time for myself. ⁠
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Parents, especially mothers, are socialized to believe that our worth is intrinsically tied to our ability to care for others and we forget (or have never been taught) that taking care of ourselves is vital for two important reasons:⁠
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1) Because we're worthy of care. Full stop. ✋⁠
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2) Because if we're tired, depleted, disconnected (from self or others) we have very little to offer, especially to our families. ⁠
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😌 I now understand that everyone in my family benefits when I take care of myself. It allows me to show up from a place of feeling rested, nourished, and whole. ⁠
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☕️ Please take time for yourself today. In the busiest of schedules, let's commit to setting aside at least 5 minutes a day to breathe, have a cup of tea, stretch, call a supportive friend, eat some chocolate🍫, and whatever else feels good to you! ⁠
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💡 Remember: self-care is NOT selfish. It's the foundation upon which everything else grows.⁠
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🎑 Image description: A quote from Buddhist teacher and monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, that reads: If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. ⁠
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As we turn our attention to Black History this month, I wanted to share a beloved children's book in our family's collection: The ABC's of Black History by Rio Cortez and illustrated by Lauren Semmer.⁠
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Through each letter of the alphabet, important people and experiences throughout history are highlighted and celebrated. Here's an example for the letter B: ⁠
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💗 "B is for beautiful - I'm talking to you! Your voice, your height, your hair, your hue. ⁠
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B is for brave, for bright, and for bold. For those who STOOD UP - even when they were told to step back, stand down, remember their place. ⁠
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B is for brotherhood, for believing in grace." 💗⁠
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🎑 Image description: The cover of a book titled The ABC's of Black History by Rio Cortez and illustrated by Lauren Semmer. The book depicts an illustration of a Black girl with a floral dress reaching up to grab a book titled "Love" among many others in a library featuring books about Black History.
🌟Teaching mindfulness to children invites us to use our imagination to create magical moments of wonder!⁠
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🔥 In our lesson on loving kindness, I set up a paper campfire, turned on some nature sounds, and invited the children in my class to bring a blanket and favorite stuffed animal. ⁠
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🧸 We sent loving kindness to our stuffies, ourselves, and each other. Then we spread our friendly wishes to all beings everywhere. ⁠
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😋 The meditation ended with roasting marshmallows! ⁠
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🎑 Image description: a paper campfire in the middle of a circle of meditation cushions in the children's mindfulness classroom where I teach in Portland.⁠
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💡 Study after study shows that children will rise to our expectations if we think positively about them. ⁠
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🙌 If you have a child who takes their time in the morning, try affirming to yourself (and to them) that you absolutely know they can get in the car on time! ⁠
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🫕 If they are "picky" eaters, affirm to yourself that their palette is developing each day. ⁠
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🧐 Look for the moments when the old labels (slow, picky, unfocused, messy, etc) are proven wrong and then reflect that back to your child: "I saw you try something new at dinner tonight!" "I noticed you were ready to go on time this morning!" ⁠
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🤩 Whenever I want to help one of my kids grow in a certain area, I visualize them engaging in this new way and project confidence onto them that they can do it. ⁠
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🌈 What we believe about our kids becomes their sense of who they are and what they're capable of. ⁠
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💗 Give this a try and let me know how it goes! ⁠
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🎨 Mindful Art Mondays: Glass Jar Candle Holders⁠
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These candle holders were made at a crafts night with friends recently. It's a simple art activity that brings a peaceful and calming glow during the longer winter nights. ⁠
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We used:⁠
✅ repurposed glass peanut butter jars⁠
✅ tissue paper⁠
✅ washi tape⁠
✅ tealight candles⁠
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The little shapes were created with paper craft hole punchers and we decorated the lids with washi tape. ⁠
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After we finished our jars, we took turns sharing how we were feeling in the moment and then lit our candles one by one. 🕯️⁠
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This activity is great for all ages. For younger kids, you could use battery operated candles that they can switch on and off by themselves. ⁠
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Keeping these candle holders at the dinner table provides a lovely reminder to slow down and tune in to the present moment. 💗⁠
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Please comment below with some of your favorite winter time crafts? I'd love to hear! 🥰🙏⁠
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💗 🥰 When we parent mindfully, we get to choose how we perceive situations and respond to our kids with empathy and kindness. ⁠
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Engaging our children this way allows them to feel safe with us, encouraging their natural state of flexibility and cooperation. ⁠
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Remember kids are wired to connect, so we have nature on our side! ⁠
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It's important to choose empathy and kindness when responding to our own feelings and needs, too. 🥰💗⁠
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Wishing you a peaceful and joyful holiday season! Please remember to take some full breaths and check in with your own feelings and needs throughout the day. I look forward to sharing more mindfulness based activities and tools in the New Year! ⁠ 🎄❄️🏡⁠
Thanksgiving is right around the corner! 🥰 🍂🦃🍁⁠
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I’m giving away a free Thanksgiving Gratitude Packet that will support your family's practice of gratitude and appreciation. ⁠
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The packet includes mindfulness activities for all ages, including coloring pages to inspire children to think about the people, places, and things in their lives for which they’re most thankful as well as pages for teens and adults to reflect on their own sources of gratitude.⁠ ⁠
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🌟 To download the free packet, you can click the link in bio, or copy and paste this into your browser: https://ck.mindfulparenting.com/thanksgiving⁠
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Happy Thanksgiving! 🥰 🍂🦃🍁⁠
As our hearts break for the innocent lives impacted by the horrific attacks in Israel and Gaza, we experience a collective trauma. It affects our minds, bodies, and spirits. ⁠
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During times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to focus on what we can control:⁠
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—our structure and routines⁠
—our grounding and self-care⁠
—the care of our children and families⁠
—sending support to organizations that offer humanitarian aid⁠
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Here are a few to consider: ⁠
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Doctors without Borders: https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/⁠
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Save the Children: https://www.savethechildren.org/us/where-we-work/west-bank-gaza#statement⁠
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Mercy Corps: https://www.mercycorps.org/donate/emergency-crisis-israel-and-gaza⁠
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May we all be held in compassion.
💨 Let's take a deep breath with Alphabreaths! ⁠
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This mindfulness book for kids sparks the imagination and makes taking a breath silly, playful, and fun while also helping cultivate calm, focus, and resilience. ⁠
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Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing, by Christopher Willard and Daniel Rechtschaffen, was a big hit in the kids' mindfulness class that I teach. ⁠
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Lots of giggles and full breaths as we went through Alligator breaths to Zzzzz breaths and every letter inbetween. 🥰⁠
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Teaching kids to connect to breath and body helps them to navigate the world with a peaceful mind and a full heart. 📚✨ ⁠
🏳️‍🌈 I attended the Capitol Pride Parade in Washington DC with my family a few weeks ago to support and celebrate our LGBTQ+ friends, family, and community.⁠ ⁠
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🏳️‍⚧️ I'm heartened that so far this month, a federal judge in Indiana halted the state's ban on gender affirming care for trans youth and that a court in Arkansas recently ruled that bans on gender affirming care are unconstitutional. ⁠
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🌈 LGBTQ+ rights are human rights and gender affirming care saves lives. ⁠
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Two years ago, Juneteenth was made an official federal holiday to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. ⁠
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The Freedom Quilt by Jesse B. Telfair is hanging in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. I had the privilege of visiting the museum with my family last week and was moved beyond words.⁠
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During the Civil Rights Movement, Ms. Telfair was fired from her job as a school cafeteria employee for registering African American voters in Southwest Georgia. She made this quilt as an affirmation and a reminder of her freedom and the freedom guaranteed to all American citizens. ⁠
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There are some wonderful children's books that share the story of Juneteenth and can open up thoughtful dialogue about why we celebrate this momentous day. ⁠Here's a list to get you started: ⁠
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🌟Free at Last, by Soujourner Kincaid Rolle (all ages)⁠
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🌟 The Juneteenth Story, by Alliah L. Agostini (ages 6-11)⁠
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🌟 What is Juneteenth? by Kirsti Jewel (ages 8-12)⁠
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🌟 Opal Lee and What it Means to Be Free, by Alice Faye Duncan (all ages)⁠
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🌟Juneteenth for Mazie, by Floyd Cooper⁠ (ages 6-9)⁠
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🌟Juneteenth, by Drew Nelson and Vaunda Micheaux Nelson⁠ (ages 7-10)⁠
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🌟Raven the Great: What is Juneteenth? by Dr. Paulette McClain⁠
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🌟Juneteenth Jamboree, by Carole Boston Weatherford⁠ (ages 6-9)⁠
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#juneteenth #blacklivesmatter #freedom
Mindful Art Mondays: Pinwheels!⁠
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Awareness of breath is an important part of mindfulness. ⁠
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Pinwheels are a wonderful way to help kids connect to their breath and experiment with pace and length of inhales and exhales. ⁠
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We made these pinwheels with white card stock, colored markers and jewel stickers. ⁠
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Mindfulness with Kids: Blowing Bubbles
When children are not allowed to express their emotions, they're not able to learn how to regulate them. ⁠
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Holding space for feelings, while at times challenging for parents, is an important process in supporting our kids. ⁠
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Through the process of co-regulating, we teach children how to eventually regulate and sooth their own upset feelings. This is a skill that develops over time and has lifelong benefits. ⁠
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A mantra that I find helpful is: All Feelings Are Welcome! ⁠
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📚 I came across this children's book on a recent trip to Astoria - I am Quiet: A Story for the Introvert in All of Us. ⁠
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📗 It's a very sweet, affirming story about the rich imaginations of even the kids who tend to be labeled as quiet and shy. The book reminds us that answers, friendship, and strength are sometimes quiet.⁠
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📘 If you have a child who's been labeled as shy, I think they'll find this book to be quite validating! ⁠
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Written by: Andie Powers⁠
Illustrated by: Betsy Petersen⁠
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Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and maternal figures who are breaking generational cycles to parent more mindfully and heartfully. ⁠
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And sending deep compassion to those who have lost a mom or who have trauma related to having a mom or being a mom. ⁠
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I wish you healing on your journey and the capacity to hold your pain with tenderness today. ⁠
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🧰 Have you ever wondered which tools are most effective for your parenting toolbox? ⁠
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In working with families for almost 20 years now, I've reflected on this question many times! ⁠
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There are five tools that I think are most important, and I've created a free guidebook to walk you through each one. ⁠
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Get instant access to Five Days to a More Mindful Family and begin practicing these tools to strengthen connection and create greater family harmony. ⁠
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When you've finished the 5-day practice, please reach out to let me know how it went! (Link in bio.)⁠
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In honor of May 4th, I'm sharing some more Star Wars origami characters! ⁠
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My son was inspired by a series of Origami Star Wars books we came across at the library last year and had so much fun making these little guys. ⁠
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I love open-ended days where we can engage with our inspiration and creativity. This is the essence of mindfulness with kids! ⁠
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I love this mindfulness card deck for teens and tweens, created by Gina Biegel, LMFT. It includes 50 cards that allow teens to strengthen practices of self-care, grounding, and mindfulness. It's accessible for adults, too. 💕⁠
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I recommend keeping a mindfulness deck at the kitchen table and having each family member take a turn selecting a card to ponder. 🥰⁠
Anger is always about unmet needs. When we, as parents and caregivers, feel frustrated or angry, it's important to turn our attention inwards first, before directing our feelings outward. ⁠
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When we tune in, we can listen to what our body is communicating to us. Once we've discovered our need in that moment, we can try to meet that need for ourselves, or make a request for it to be met by someone else. ⁠
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Parenting is not about eliminating our feelings, it's about finding skillful ways to express them. ⁠
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Parenting our children at every age gives us the opportunity to simultaneously re-parent ourselves. If your child is 4, think about what you needed at 4 years old. If your child is 16, what did you need during your adolescence? ⁠
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You then have the opportunity not only to offer that type of nurturing to your child at their present age, but you can offer it to yourself, too. ⁠
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It's never too late to heal the past and to give ourselves what we needed all along. ⁠
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My re-parenting includes slowing down, allowing all feelings, and offering myself empathy and compassion. 💗⁠
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❄️ Mindful Art Mondays: Winter Penguins Craft⁠
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As a working mom who loves doing arts and crafts (but doesn't always have time to do them from scratch) I appreciate kits that are fun to assemble without a lot of prep work required! ⁠
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These cut-out penguins are a fun wintertime craft to make with kids on snowy or rainy indoor days. Pictured here are the penguins my kids made, each with its own personality and style. 🥰⁠
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Supplies:⁠
Penguin kit from Paper Source⁠
Glue⁠
Scissors⁠
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If you’re a parent who wishes to have:

Less stress, tension, and overwhelm

Fewer conflicts and power struggles

More flexibility and cooperation in your family

A deeper connection with your kids

A greater sense of internal calm and sturdiness

And an overall sense of ease and confidence in your parenting

Then, welcome! You’re in the right place.

For information on my individual and couples therapy practice, please visit noellewittliff.com

It starts with a simple intention, a desire for change, and a willingness to develop new strategies and ideas about how to care for ourselves and our children.

The first step toward meaningful change is creating a vision for your family and then reaching out for the right support to get you to where you want to be.

What is Mindful Parenting?

Mindful Parenting is about slowing down and bringing attention to the big and small moments in each day. Mindful Parenting refers to parenting consciously and intentionally, with compassionate awareness of our own feelings and needs, while also tuning in to the feelings and needs of our children. When we parent mindfully, we respond, rather than react. We find opportunities to engage with our children in ways that naturally encourage their flexibility and cooperation. We strengthen emotional safety within the family and foster secure and loving attachments.

Mindful Parenting is about parenting in the present moment, in the only place where we can affect change.

Click here to learn more about my own Mindful Parenting journey

What Parents Are Saying

Danielle

Danielle Grace, Mother of Two:

The Mindful Parenting course turned out to be the exact thing I was longing for: guidance, invaluable information, and new approaches to parenting. Noelle’s presence is incredibly calming and warm. She is empathetic, a wealth of child-development knowledge, and an incredible teacher. You can tell that she truly loves what she does. I’m profoundly grateful to have taken her course.

Debbie Lee, Mother of Two:

Noelle is a wonderful teacher. I’m so grateful to have taken her Mindful Parenting course and would highly recommend it to parents and caregivers of children of all ages. The course helped me to understand my own childhood experience; understand brain and child developmental stages; and find ways to keep calm during moments of parenting challenges and frustrations. This course helped me to not just be a better parent, but to be a better person in all of my relationships.
Luanna

Luana Adduci, Mother of One:

Taking Noelle’s Mindful Parenting course was one of the biggest gifts I’ve given myself. It was so empowering for me as a mother. The best word I can come up with to describe my experience is eye-opening. I learned to offer myself empathy which not only helped me become more empathetic towards my daughter, but has also prevented potential outbursts. I feel so much calmer around situations that would have driven me crazy before.

Melissa Kinnicutt, Caregiver to School-Age Children:

First and from my heart, Noelle is amazing and this class is going to change lives and make the world a better place! Her knowledgeable understanding and passion for this subject is engaging and inspiring. I know anyone who is raising or working with children would find this course informative, useful, and inspiring.

Latest from the Blog

June 22nd, 2020|

I started this blog in March to share resources as we began the process of adjusting to extraordinary life circumstances. With so much uncertainty in

The vision you hold for your family is within reach.

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