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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.”

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When I make it a practice to connect with myself and my highest intention for the day BEFORE I get caught up in the news of the day, I feel sturdier and more grounded. ⁠
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This calmer energy lasts throughout the day, and changes how I show up in all aspects of my life. ⁠
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A simple practice that I like is to think of something that you feel grateful for before you get out of bed in the morning. As you bring that image to mind, savor how it feels to connect with your gratitude. ⁠
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Take a few full breaths, set an intention, and then start your day when ready!⁠
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Parenting Support: Visual Reminders to Change Behaviors (ours not our kids'!) ⁠
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If you’re working on changing an old parenting behavior (like yelling or rushing), place a few bracelets, rubber bands, or hair ties around one wrist. ⁠
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Let these serve as a reminder of your intention to show up differently for your kids today. If you slip into an old pattern of raising your voice, for example, move one band to the other wrist. ⁠
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This is a reminder to you that some repair needs to happen. Some relationship experts recommend a 5:1 ratio of positive interactions to negative ones. When repairing with your child, consider seeking out 5 opportunities to connect and engage with presence and kindness. Then move that band back to its original wrist. ⁠
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The goal is to eventually get through a day without needing to move any bands over to the other wrist. Every time you see those colorful ties around your wrist, you’ll be reminded of your intention to show up differently. ⁠
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These are consistent reminders that will help you stay focused and present. Eventually, you won’t need bands to remind you, as your intention will be integrated and intuitive. You’ll develop new habits of communicating and relating, that with practice and effort, will be the new normal. 💕⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Origami Fortune Cookies⁠
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In honor of Chinese New Year beginning today, I'm sharing Mindful Art Monday a day early! This is a very simple and fun craft to do with kids.⁠
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1. Draw a circle on a sheet of origami paper and cut it out.⁠
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2. Bend the top of the circle to touch the bottom of the circle, without folding the circle in half. Gently press the middle of the circle to make a small crease.⁠
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3. Fold the left and right side of the circle towards each other and use the other hand to press an indentation at the bottom point of the folded circle. ⁠
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4. Place a dot of hot glue on the inside of one side of the folded edge, close to the small crease. ⁠
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5. Write your wishes for the new year on strips of of paper and gently slide them into the folded cookies.⁠
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Happy Lunar New Year! ⁠
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I love these words of wisdom from Pema Chödrön. I'm reminded of the importance of thoughtful consideration of others and mindful awareness of how our actions affect them. ⁠
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"We don't set out to save the world. We set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." ⁠
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--Pema Chödrön⁠
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If you're looking for simple ways to incorporate more mindfulness into your daily family life, Mindful Games Activity Cards by Susan Kaiser Greenland is a great place to start. ⁠
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These cards strengthen the skills of attention, balance, and compassion. I keep these in the kitchen and we pull out 1-2 cards at mealtime to practice slowing down and coming into the present moment. 💗⁠
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A child's secure relationship with their parent is protective, healing, and resilience building. Indeed, the most powerful mental health intervention known to mankind.⁠
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🌸 Mindful Art Mondays: Handmade Flower Paper⁠
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🌺 This is wonderful mindfulness art activity as it incorporates visual, kinesthetic, and tactile sensory learning. 🙌⁠
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🌼 There are many different ways to make handmade paper. Here, I'll offer the method my kids learned in their farm camp (examples shown here). ⁠
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💐 Supplies: colored construction paper, jars, water, flowers, paper towels, a screen or sieve⁠
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🌻 Tear up colored construction paper into tiny pieces and place the scraps from each color into separate jars. Add some water, screw on the lids, and shake. 🌟 Shaking the body releases stress and tension and is a great grounding exercise.⁠
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🌷 When the paper begins to break down, take out different colors and place them onto a screen or sieve. Press down with dry paper towels to flatten the paper and absorb excess moisture. Then add flowers to press into the paper as desired.⁠
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🪷 Place the paper in sunlight to dry. In about a day, you'll have some really beautiful and interesting nature creations to enjoy! ⁠
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🌟 Mindfulness Practice: Resourcing⁠
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Let's talk about resourcing! ⁠
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Resources, as used in trauma-resiliency and mindfulness work, refer to anything that brings us a sense of calm, peace, joy, safety, or internal sturdiness. ⁠
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Animals are a wonderful resource as kids (and adults) can borrow qualities from favorite animals to remind them of their own internal bravery, strength, resilience, steadiness, confidence, or power. ⁠
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In my office, I keep a bowl of these small animal figurines (pictured here). When a child that I'm working with identifies a quality that could help them to try something new or face some kind of challenge, they choose an animal that embodies the strength that they're needing. ⁠
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I invite them to take the animal with them, keep it their pocket, and when they're in the new or challenging situation, they can draw the strength that they've identified from their animal resource. ⁠
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I, myself, have been known to keep a saber-tooth tiger in my pocket from time to time when needing an extra boost of confidence or assertiveness. It really helps! 😉⁠
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🌟 A simple mindfulness practice that you might try this New Year's Eve is to write down everything from this year that you're ready to let go of. ⁠
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🌟 This list can include habits or feeling states that no longer serve your highest good. Maybe you can set an intention to let go of stress, overwhelm, people-pleasing, over-committing, excessive screen time. ⁠
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🌟 After writing this list, release it in some way. You can tear it into small pieces and throw it away, or if you have a fireplace, toss it into the fire. Connect to the feeling of LETTING GO. ⁠
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🌟 Next, you can write a second list that includes everything that you'd like to call in for the New Year. What do you want more of in 2023? ⁠
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🌟 More quality time with loved ones, slowing down, more movement, a renewed meditation or journaling practice? Let your imagination guide your intention setting. ⁠
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🌟 New Year's Eve is a wonderful time to reflect, let go, and set intentions for the upcoming year. ⁠
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🎉 Happy New Year! ⁠
While researching happiness and joy for a talk that I gave earlier this year, I was heartened to learn that happiness can be cultivated through action. It's not just a state that comes and goes, although for most of my life, it sure felt that way. Here are some practices to cultivate and strengthen a sense of happiness: ⁠
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❤️ A daily gratitude practice - training the mind to notice and reflect on what you appreciate.⁠
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🧡 Being of service to others through small acts of kindness and support. ⁠
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💛 Bringing to mind someone you love and whispering a thank you to them!⁠
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💚 Moving your body in a way that feels good to you - this could be gentle stretching, playing hide and seek with your kids, or taking a dance class. ⁠
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💙 Savoring moments of contentment, wellness, or ease - when you notice something that feels good, take some time to savor it. Let your mind and body register the joy in the experience.⁠
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💜 A mindfulness practice! A daily mindfulness practice reduces feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, and increases feelings of equanimity, joy, and a deeper connection to ourselves and others. ⁠
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Wishing all those who celebrate Christmas a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours. I hope your holidays are peaceful and joyful, and  that you enjoy some mindful connection with your loved ones this holiday season.⁠ 🎄❄️🏡⁠
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The origin of the word solstice means to stand still. It's the "longest" night of the year, where we celebrate the return of the light and the first official day of winter. ⁠
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My kids made wreaths (pictured here) at a gathering to celebrate the traditions of solstice. ⁠
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We'll spend some time in the forest today, standing still, taking a full breath in, and reflecting on this past year with gratitude. ⁠
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I hope you have a moment of stillness today, too. 🌲🌤❄️
🎅 🎄 Mindful Art Mondays: Holiday decorations⁠
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🌟 One of our favorite things to do around this time of year is to make holiday decorations. I found this little set at Michael's and it's perfect for kids ages 5 and up. My tween enjoyed making them, too! Seasonal arts and crafts are a fun way to spend time together and to practice mindful creating and engaging. 💕⁠
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🎨 Supplies needed: felt cut-outs, glue, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, ribbon for hanging. ⁠
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Wishing all who celebrate the Festival of Lights a Happy Hanukkah and a peaceful New Year! ⁠
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Mindfulness Practice: Grounding⁠
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I keep a dish of polished stones in my office for anyone who would like an additional source of grounding. ⁠
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Observing the colors, shapes, and sizes, and then holding one in your hand to notice the texture, temperature, and weight are all effective ways to bring some grounding into the body and nervous system. ⁠
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I often carry one of these stones in my pocket and just reach for it as needed throughout the day!⁠
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🌟 Mindful Parenting Support: When feeling triggered, sending yourself short, reassuring affirmations of safety will go a long way to calm and soothe your nervous system! ⁠
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These are my go-to's: ⁠
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❤️ I'm here - a reminder to stay connected to myself in the present moment.⁠
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🧡 I'm safe - reminds me that even though I'm feeling triggered, I'm safe in my body.⁠
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💛 I'm loved - a reminder of my social support.⁠
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💚 I've got this - reminds me that even though it's hard sometimes, we can do this!⁠
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🌟 Mindful Art Mondays: Fairy Houses 🧚⁠
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📚 My kids are fortunate to belong to a book club facilitated by award-winning children's author Cindy Baldwin. She creates lovely activities to go along with monthly nature-themed books. ⁠
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🧚🏠 Pictured here are two kid-created fairy houses with animals and mythical creatures inspired by a character from one of the bookclub selections: Silver Meadows Summer by @emma.otheguy.⁠
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🌲 I'm sharing this today as an example of how to expand content from stories into hands-on, mindful experiences using creativity in nature. Thank you, @cindybaldwinbooks for this beautiful lesson.⁠
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🎨 🍂 Supplies needed: wooden bird houses, moss, leaves, stones, pinecones, glue, mythical creature and animal figurines. ⁠
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🌸 Mindful Parenting Support: It's helpful not only to understand our triggers but to also identify what contributes to those moments in our families when things go well. This helps us understand the causes and conditions that allow us to show up as our best selves. ⁠
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What helps you to feel grounded, patient, and easy-going with your partner or kids? ⁠
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For me, it almost always has to do with prioritizing sleep, staying hydrated, and having a consistent meditation practice. ⁠
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This kind of self-care is the scaffolding that enables me to be the calm and gentle mom that my kids need. ⁠
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🌟 Once you've identified your sources of support, make it a priority to include them in your daily routines. You've got this! 🥰⁠
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🍁 In honor of Thanksgiving, here are a few family practices to strengthen appreciation and increase happiness...⁠
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📚 A gratitude journal: Each family member can write or draw what they're grateful for in their own journals, or you can keep a notebook in the kitchen with an open invitation for any family member to add entries as they feel moved to do so.⁠
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🍛 A gratitude practice: Before dinner each night, take turns expressing something that each person is grateful for from their day. This trains the mind to look for what is good, and reflecting on those moments at the end of the day allows us to savor and remember them.⁠
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🫙 A gratitude jar: Throughout the year, write down people and things that you appreciate onto slips of paper. Fold them up and put them in a jar. On Thanksgiving, open up the jar and each family member can take turns reading from the slips of paper. It's a fun way to reminisce and highlight experiences from throughout the year. ⁠
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💕 I'm grateful for each of you. Thank you for following this page and for all that you do to make the world a kinder place. ⁠
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🫙🙏 Mindful Art Mondays: This week’s mindful art activity is an Affirmation Jar. 💕⁠
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🌟 My kids and I decorated these glass jars with collage materials, washi tape, and stickers. Inside the jars are strips of paper that have affirming, supportive messages on them. ⁠
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🕯 Whenever your child is needing a little boost of confidence or encouragement, you can invite them to open the jar and take out a message. ⁠
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🥰 Read the affirmation together and reflect on the meaning of the words. Ask your child what they notice inside as they ponder a new perspective? ⁠
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🎨 Supplies needed: glass jars with lids, collage materials, stickers, glue, mod-podge to coat the jar after collaging, strips of paper and a pen. ⁠
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: mindfulparenting.com/thanksgiving/ ⁠
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Happy Thanksgiving! 🥰 🍂🦃🍁⁠
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Happy World Kindness Day! Today (and every day) is an opportunity to be intentional about treating others with kindness and making them feel loved and cared for. This practice starts at home and can have ripple effects throughout our communities. 🥰💕⁠
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Photo credit: Clay Banks⁠
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Self-compassion is a way of relating to ourselves with sensitivity, kindness, and understanding. ⁠
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When we offer ourselves compassion, we have more to give to our children. ⁠
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Practicing self-compassion also helps us to model the practice for our kids, demonstrating by example the importance of being kind to themselves.⁠
The way that we hold our bodies can influence how we feel and behave. When I sit up a little taller and relax my shoulders, I embody a sense of calm and confidence. Conversely, a slumped over posture with crossed arms might elicit feelings of defensiveness or vulnerability. ⁠
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In Amy Cuddy's research out of Harvard, she found that when participants adopted power poses (think of the Wonder Woman stance with hands on hips) before a mock interview, they felt more powerful and performed better. ⁠
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If your child is feeling anxious about entering a social setting or new situation, invite them to take on a posture of confidence or bravery. ⁠
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You could explore this with them by asking, "What does your body look like when you're feeling brave?" Then invite them to notice how it feels to assume that posture and if they could imagine themselves entering the new context feeling a bit more self-assured.⁠
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Photo by Michał Parzuchowski
🎨 Mindful Art Monday: Paper Chain of Connection⁠
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My kids lost two important family members this year, their great uncle and their grandfather. When processing feelings of loss with them, I was reminded of this therapeutic art activity that I learned from Our House Grief Center in Los Angeles. ⁠
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The instructions are simple. Have your child write their name on one strip of paper and their loved one's name on another strip. ⁠
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Then on separate strips, write down what they loved about that person, what was special about them, and any memories that come to mind of times spent together. ⁠
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Create a paper chain by joining the strips together in circles, starting with your child's name and ending with their loved one. Add a piece of clear tape to close each circle. ⁠
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When you're finished, you have a chain of experiences that link your child to the special person they lost. ⁠
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It's a tangible way for kids to process their grief, to get in touch with what mattered most about this person, and to remind them of all the ways they stay connected to them through their feelings and memories.⁠
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I love this gentle reminder from the Dalai Lama. ⁠
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🙏💕 Be kind whenever possible. It's always possible. ⁠
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🌟 Mindfulness Activity: Blowing Bubbles⁠
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🛁  Blowing bubbles with your kids is a fun way to experience taking full breaths in and slow, extended exhales - perfect for calming the nervous system! ⁠
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🎈 I like to add another mindfulness component to this activity. Invite your child to share a thought or a feeling that they're currently noticing, and then invite them to place it into the next bubble and release it. They can watch it slowly float away. ⁠
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🌀 Then, place another thought or feeling into the next bubble and repeat. ⁠
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💞 It's a great reminder of the impermanence of thoughts and feelings and that we can choose to let go at any moment!

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.

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