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Home2021-02-17T23:02:44-08:00

Hi, I’m Noelle Wittliff.

I’m a Mother of Two, Licensed Family Therapist, 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 over fifteen years of experience, I support families to learn, grow, and heal in powerful ways.

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

Read more reviews of Mindful Parenting

This is one of my favorite mindfulness practices from Thich Nhat Hanh. We can practice a simple inhale with an intention to calm our bodies, and a slow exhale with kindness for ourselves and others.⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Dream Boxes. This is a fun mindfulness activity to do with kids. After painting and decorating a cardboard box, invite your child to write down their dreams, intentions, or goals on slips of paper. Do they want to learn a new instrument, brush up on a foreign language, or be kinder to their sibling? There's something powerful about writing down visions for ourselves and our lives. ⁠
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As parents and caregivers, we can reflect back to our children their inherent goodness. They'll see in our faces and hear in our voices our appreciation for them, and this positively shapes their identity and sense of self. ⁠
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As I often tell parents in my practice, let your face light up when your child walks into the room. 💗⁠
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Happy Pride Month! I stand with and celebrate my LGBTQ+ friends,  family, and community this month and every month.⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Role-playing with kids can be so powerful because it gives them practice setting boundaries, asking for what they need, and communicating feelings. You can create paper dolls, like the ones we made here, and role-play situations in which your child might be feeling anxious or stuck. After practicing what they'd like to say or do in these situations, they can imagine themselves showing up with more confidence and bravery.⁠
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Happiness Jars! What do you do with all of the tiny toys, party favors, sea shells, rocks, and mementos that accumulate over time? My kids have glass jars to hold these items and they open them up every now and again and remember all of the moments that these special treasures came into their lives. It's a great way to stay organized and the jars really do bring happiness to a room! ⁠
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I got this idea from Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project and Happier at Home. ⁠
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R.A.I.N is a simple, yet profound, mindfulness practice that invites us to Recognize what we're feeling, Allow the feelings to be there, Investigate where the feelings show up in the body, and offer ourselves Nurturing self-compassion. ⁠
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In this meditation, we can bring curiosity and kindness to the most vulnerable parts of ourselves. ⁠
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-Adapted by Tara Brach from senior Buddhist teacher Michele McDonald⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Worry Boxes. If your child is struggling with worries and having a hard time letting them go, invite them to write down each worry on a slip of paper and drop it in their worry box. Having a safe place to contain worries can bring relief. The worries can stay in the box, with the lid on tight, and your child can focus on things they'd rather be thinking about! ⁠
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An added step to this practice is to review the worries the following week. How many of them came true? It's an important reminder that most of what we worry about never materializes. After reviewing the worries, the ones that are no longer causing stress can be thrown away--another practice of letting go! ⁠
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Dear Moms, ⁠
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Please know how loved, valued, and appreciated you are, today and every day. ⁠
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Happy Mother's Day. 💗⁠
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Love this mindfulness practice from Ralph De La Rosa in his book, The Monkey is the Messenger. Every morning before you get out of bed...⁠
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Take FIVE full breaths⁠
Think of THREE things you're grateful for⁠
Practice ONE smile⁠
Set ONE intention for your day⁠
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Fun science fact: when you turn the corners of your mouth up (aka smile), your body releases the feel-good hormones dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Even if you don't feel like smiling, you'll still reap the benefits!⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Family Crest⁠
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This is meaningful activity to do as a family. Let everyone choose the values that they believe best represent your family. Write them down on the family crest and post it somewhere that's visible to all. ⁠
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When you're helping your kids solve a problem or make a decision, refer back to your family crest and let your values guide the path forward. ⁠
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Leave a comment or send me a message if you'd like a copy of the Family Crest hand out!⁠
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What does your family stand for? ⁠
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In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I'm remembering my grandparents and appreciating their wisdom, compassion, resilience, and dignity. This photograph was taken on their wedding day in Loomis, California. ⁠
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This past year brought several unexpected adventures and one of them was a recent kayaking trip to Morro Bay. I'll never forget this moment with my daughter. It was so peaceful and beautiful out on the water and some curious seals swam right up to our boat to say hello. ⁠
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Mindful Connection: Game Night! ⁠
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Weekly rituals strengthen connection in families and give kids something to look forward to. This has been more important than ever in a quarantine year where each day can blend into the next.⁠
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I've been really appreciating cooperative games lately, which encourage teamwork. In the Race to the Treasure board game, families work together to get to the treasure before the ogre does. We all had a great time playing this last night and kept going until we won! ⁠
Mindful Art Mondays: Sometimes referred to as "strewing," leaving some art or craft materials out for your kids to discover can be a fun surprise that sparks interest and imagination. ⁠
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No instructions necessary! It's an invitation to create and the possibilities are endless. ⁠
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What do you have sitting in a cabinet or bin that can be repurposed for an afternoon of creative play? ⁠
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On National Siblings Day, I'm reflecting on the sweet relationship that my kids have with each other and how that relationship has strengthened over this past year of quarantine. They've become each other's favorite playmate and best friend. ⁠
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I'm also grateful for the relationship I have with my own twin sibling and honoring the ways that we've been there for each other throughout our lives. ⁠
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Not all sibling relationships are harmonious. I'm mindful of that truth, too. For many, choosing close relationships with friends and other family members can fill that void.
A little getaway to the forest for my daughter's 7th birthday. We've had to reimagine so many things during this pandemic, including how to keep our children safe while making sure that they feel celebrated on their special days. We sang Happy Birthday in front of a camp fire and spent several days hiking, exploring, and playing at a beach across the street from our camping site. It's not the birthday party that she imagined, but in some ways, this was even better. ⁠
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With the transition back to in-person learning, many kids are naturally feeling a mix of excitement and worry. I thought I'd post a few of my favorite worry books for kids in case they might be helpful for your child! ⁠
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Here are some other tips to help with the transition:⁠
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Send encouraging notes in your child's lunchbox or backpack to help them feel connected to you while at school. ⁠
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Remind them of what you'll do together when you see them after school so they can anticipate that reconnection. ⁠
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If it's been a while since they've seen their school, drive by so they can see it and begin to feel reacquainted. ⁠
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Plan something special to mark the first week back to school - it's a big deal! ⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Bubble Wands. Blowing bubbles encourages full inhales, and long slow exhales - perfect for calming the nervous system! We made these bubble wands with pipe cleaners, beads, sequins, and some felt flowers we found in our craft bin. Mix up a jar of soapy water and you're all set for a fun, mindfulness activity with kids! ⁠
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I stand with my Asian family, friends, and colleagues against the anti-Asian violence, harassment, and discrimination that have been made worse by the dangerous rhetoric of the last administration. ⁠
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As a biracial person who grew up in Asia and the US, I’ve seen first hand the pain and devastation that racism causes to individuals, families, and entire communities. ⁠
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If you’d like to learn more about how to intervene when witnessing acts of racism, please consider taking this free, one hour Bystander Intervention training by Hollaback and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. ⁠
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It's an informative and empowering training, and you'll walk away with 5 concrete strategies for intervening safely if you witness racial harassment.⁠
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I took this training with over 3,000 people and at the end of the hour, 100% of us responded that we'd know what to do in a situation where someone was being targeted due to race. ⁠
Link in bio.⁠
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Please forward or tag someone who may be interested in this training.
Today we recognize the International Transgender Day of Visibility to celebrate the gifts and contributions of the TGNB community and to raise awareness of the discrimination and injustice faced by trans and nonbinary people worldwide. ⁠
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I see you. I hear you. And I stand with you. ⁠
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In honor of Women's History Month, I want to pay tribute to some of my favorite mindfulness teachers and to recognize the profound influence they've had on me and countless others. Thank you for your example, leadership, compassion, and wisdom. 🙏💕⁠
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🌸Charlotte Joko Beck⁠
🌸Sharon Salzberg⁠
🌸Kristin Neff⁠
🌸Tara Brach⁠
🌸Sebene Selassie⁠
🌸Pema Chodron⁠
🌸Ruth King⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Crystal soaps. We had so much fun making soaps in the colors and shapes of quartz crystals. One of the gifts of spending more time at home has been engaging in activities that wouldn't have occurred to us before in our busier lives. I might have seen a project like this on Pinterest and thought it looked beautiful for someone else to create, but this year my kids and I actually did this! I'm also very grateful for subscription kits like Kiwi Co who provided all that we needed to make these lovely crystal soaps. ⁠
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Family rituals are a way to strengthen connection among family members and provide something to look forward to each week. I'm sharing a picture of one of our homemade vegan pizza nights. My kids really enjoy creating their own individual pizzas and look forward to this night all week. We also have a weekly game night,  movie night, art day, and nature day. No matter what's happening during the week, we take time to honor these traditions and in doing so, they create some of our family's favorite memories. What are your family's favorite weekly rituals? ⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Resiliency Trees. This art activity is inspired by The Tree of Life art exercise that I learned through my Trauma Resiliency Model training. The tree is a drawing that invites us to reflect on where we come from (the roots), our hopes and dreams (the branches), accomplishments (the fruit), who we are in the world (the trunk), what we are proud of (leaves), and our losses (fallen fruit). Leave a comment or  DM me for a full description of the activity and I'll send you the instructions. It's a beautiful project to do as a family. 💗⁠
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Part of mindfulness includes creating and holding space for all feelings, especially when those feelings are challenging, like grief and loss. I find that books are an important way to help kids make sense of their emotions. These two were recommended to me when our family lost a beloved dog several years ago. I now use them in my therapy practice with children who are processing the loss of a family pet. Some things are hard to talk about, and reading stories can open up avenues for discussion and healing, letting kids know they are not alone in their experience.⁠
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Dog Heaven, by Cynthia Rylant⁠
When a Pet Dies, by Fred Rogers⁠
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This is a very interesting mindset shift, and it doesn't apply in every circumstance (especially those involving harm or oppression). I do find it helpful though in situations in which I may be feeling triggered or activated, to shift away from thinking this is happening TO me to this is happening FOR me. This helps me to slow down and to look for any lessons or opportunities in the situation that will help me become stronger, wiser, or more compassionate and resilient. And then I can see what's happening as an opportunity for growth, rather than something unfortunate that I have to endure. Is there a mindset shift that helps you in this way? ⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Goodbye Notes. When the stay-at-home orders were first issued last March, I began leaving a goodbye note for my kids every time I left the house to go to work. There was naturally some fear about me leaving the house during this early stage of the pandemic. The notes were so meaningful to my kids (more than I would have ever predicted), that I continued with the practice even after everyone was feeling secure again. They now have two binders full and I thought I'd share a few of them here. What are the ways that you let your kids know you're thinking of them during times of separation? ⁠
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The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst, shares a comforting way to talk to kids about attachment and connection. Even during times of separation, there is an invisible string that connects children's hearts to the grown-ups who love them. ⁠
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Meditation Station: Having a meditation space set up in my home office has helped me stay consistent with my daily practice. Before I had a designated space, my practice was less consistent because I didn't have the visual cue of my cushion set up as a reminder to sit! Now, each morning that I walk into my office, my cushion calls to me and I can start my day by sitting, breathing, and connecting to my daily intention. What helps you to stay consistent with your daily habits? ⁠
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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

Click here to learn more

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.

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