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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

🍁 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!
Just Ask! by Sonia Sotomayor is a beautiful book about human diversity, ways we can learn from each other, and how empathy allows us to connect to those with different life experiences. ⁠
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"Imagine if all of the plants in this garden were exactly the same...Just like in our garden, all the ways we are different make our neighborhood - our whole world really - more interesting and fun. And just like all of these plants, each of us has unique powers to share with the world and make it more interesting and richer."⁠
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Written by Sonia Sotomayor⁠
Illustrated by Rafael Lopez
🌟 Children learn who they are by what we reflect back to them. ⁠
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🥰 Let your face soften and light up when they look to you for reassurance, connection, and validation. ⁠
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💗 Let your child see their goodness reflected back to them in your eyes and your smile. ⁠
🎨 Mindful Art Mondays: Watercolor Mandalas ⁠
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🙏 Mandalas represent the circle of life, connection, continuity, and wholeness.⁠
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🌸 Painting mandalas connects art with mindfulness. To personalize this activity, have your kids think of 2-3 images or symbols that are meaningful to them. They can then incorporate these into their mandalas. ⁠
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I included a cherry blossom, hearts, and autumn leaves in my mandala. ⁠
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Supplies for this art project:⁠
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📃 Multi-media art paper⁠
✏️ A pencil and compass to draw concentric circles ⁠
🎨 Watercolor paints and brushes⁠
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As always, you can strengthen mindfulness by slowing down and paying attention to how it feels to connect with art in this way. 💕
Hello, and welcome! There are some new faces here so I wanted to take a moment to welcome you to this community. Thank you for joining us! I’m glad that you’re here. 🥰⁠
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I created Mindful Parenting to share what helps me in the hope that it will ease your journey as well. ⁠
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I believe strongly that if one generation of children was parented consistently with empathy, respect, and kindness, we could create extraordinary healing in the world.⁠
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When we parent mindfully, we’re able to respond rather than react. We learn to slow down and see what’s happening more clearly, so that we can attend to our own needs as well as the needs of our families. ⁠
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On this page, I share tools for healing, parenting support, and mindful activities you can do with kids so that mindfulness becomes something you practice (and benefit from!) as a family. ⁠
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🙏💕 Thank you for being here. If you’d like to say hello or introduce yourself, I’d love to hear what your current self-care practices are these days! (Mine is a cup of tea every morning! ☕️😋) ⁠
🌟 Mindfulness Activity: Walking meditation, or mindful walking ⁠
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🧘‍♂️ We often think of meditation as sitting still on a cushion with our eyes closed. Did you know that walking can also be a form of meditation? ⁠
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🚶‍♀️When teaching mindfulness to kids, walking outside is a great place to begin as it allows them to use their five senses as well as to move their bodies.⁠
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🍃 The next time you're on a walk with your kids, see if you can slow down together and really take in all that there is to notice. ⁠
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🌺 The sounds of birds chirping, the fragrance of wild flowers, the sight of clouds moving through the sky, the texture of a fallen leaf. Maybe there's something to taste on the walk as well - a wild berry or a mint leaf?⁠
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👟 After settling into a mindful rhythm, invite your child to notice each step - the lifting of the foot, the movement forward, and the placing of the foot back onto the ground. ⁠
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🧍‍♀️🧍How does it feel to slow down and walk in a more intentional way? What do you notice inside as you bring your attention to your body and your surroundings? 🌸⁠
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🌉 During times of separation, I encourage parents and caregivers to "build a bridge" for their children by reminding them of when they'll be together again. ⁠
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🌁 One side of the bridge represents the present moment of saying goodbye, and the other side of the bridge is the moment they'll be reunited. ⁠
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➡️ Building a bridge sounds like this: ⁠
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💕 "I hope you have a fun day at camp today. I'm looking forward to picking you up at 3:00 and hearing all about your day! Let's stop and get ice cream on the way home."⁠
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💞 "I'm leaving for work now. I'll be home at 5:30. Think about what book you'd like to read when I get home."⁠
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🌟 This image of a future connection is something kids can hold onto when they're apart from you.⁠
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📘 When I Miss You, by Cornelia Maude Spelman, teaches young kids that when they miss their grown-ups, they can care for themselves by connecting with others, cuddling stuffed animals, drawing, or looking at favorite books. ⁠
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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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🏳️‍🌈 Mindful Art Mondays: Felt Flags⁠
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🗺 My kids created these felt flags to represent the worlds they created in their imaginations. This was a months-long project that included maps, lists, stories, detailed drawings, and finally these flags!⁠
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🏰 Creating flags to represent imagined worlds helps kids to connect with their values. They can use colors and symbols that depict things that are important to them. ⁠
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💡 You can ask your child, "How would you design a flag to portray what matters most to you?"⁠
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🌟 Supplies: ⁠
✂️ Felt in various colors⁠
🪄 Dowel Rods⁠
🔫 Hot glue gun⁠
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Adversity is not destiny. ⁠
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There are profound opportunities for healing and growth at any stage of one's life. ⁠
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Healing from trauma and adverse childhood experiences opens us up to the rest of our lives. From this place of healing, all else is possible...⁠
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🌟 Mindfulness activity: Hoberman Sphere ⁠
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🪅 This is a plastic sphere shaped like a geodesic dome. I use this as a mindfulness activity with kids to help them become more conscious of their breathing. ⁠
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🏵 On the inhale, invite your child to slowly expand the sphere to its full capacity, and on the exhale, they can contract the sphere to its original shape. ⁠
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😮‍💨 Kids can experiment with timing, noticing what it feels like in their body to take faster, shorter breaths versus longer and slower inhales and exhales. ⁠
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🌿 Opening and closing the sphere in conjunction with their breathing adds a body movement piece that helps with grounding. ⁠
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🏐 It's also fun to play catch with! Tossing back and forth (and watching it expand and contract) brings additional playfulness to the activity. 🤗
💡 Anger is always about unmet needs. ⁠
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🌟 We can help kids make sense of their anger by guiding them to connect to the need they're holding that's not being met. ⁠
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💕 "You're really upset. What is it that you were hoping would happen? What are you needing right now?"⁠
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🥰 Provide soothing support that communicates safety so that their nervous system can begin to down-regulate.⁠
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💕 "I hear you. I understand why you're upset. Let's figure this out together."⁠
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🕯 Mindfulness tip: ⁠
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🔥 Anger is a hot emotion. Invite kids to take full breaths and blow out a slow stream of cool air. Let them know that this cools down their anger. ⁠
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📚 Books for helping kids work with anger:⁠
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📘 Sometimes I'm Bombaloo, by Rachel Vail⁠
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📗 When I Feel Angry, by Cornelia Maude Spelman⁠
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📒 I am so Angry, I Could Scream, by Laura Fox⁠
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📙 Cool Down and Work Through Anger, by  Cheri J. Meiners
🌟 Mindful Art Mondays: Painted houses. ⁠
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🏠 We found these wooden houses at Michael's shortly after the move to our new house last summer. ⁠
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🎨 Painting and fixing up these small houses gave my kids a sense of control over the big changes that we navigated as a family, including the minor repairs that were done to the house we had moved into.⁠
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🕯 Weaving mindfulness into this activity allowed us to be present with all that my kids were feeling. ⁠
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🙌 We talked about what home represents to each of us, and explored their sense of agency with total creative control over decorating and painting these miniature homes. ⁠
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Supplies:⁠
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🎨 Wooden houses from Michael's⁠
🎨 Paint brushes⁠
🎨 Acrylic paints⁠
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When we tune in and focus on areas of the body that feel pleasant or neutral, these sensations of safety and well-being can expand, creating more resilience in our nervous systems. ⁠
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If it's difficult to find any areas of safety in the body, explore the top of the head, hands, feet, or lower legs. People often find neutral or pleasant sensations in these areas. Stay with what feels pleasant and notice what happens next...⁠
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Quote attribution: Trauma Resiliency Model training with Elaine Miller-Karas. ⁠
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I recently set out a jigsaw puzzle on our dining room table as an invitation to play and connect...⁠
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At various times over the following few weeks, each family member stopped by when they had a free moment and added pieces to the puzzle. 🧩⁠
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Sometimes several of us gathered around together sharing space and connection. Eventually the puzzle was completed - a tribute to our new hometown. 🥰⁠
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Sometimes the simplest activities provide wonderful opportunities to cultivate mindfulness. Building a jigsaw puzzle one piece at a time is like living a life one breath at a time. 🧘⁠
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Bonus - no screens needed for this activity! 📱⁠
🪣 The metaphor of filling a bucket has been so helpful in my family over the years. These books illustrate the concept of recognizing our internal states. ⁠
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🚰 If our buckets are full, we have more capacity to be generous, flexible, and cooperative. If our buckets are empty or depleted, our behavior can feel more challenging. ⁠
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💡 If you see a child struggling, holding this metaphor in mind can help caregivers recognize, "Oh, my child's bucket must be empty. What can I do to help them fill it up?" ⁠
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🧸 Filling a child's bucket can be as simple as connecting with them, letting them feel seen, heard, and understood by you. With a fuller bucket, they have more internal resources to handle the ups and downs of everyday life. ⁠
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🕯 Adults, too, can benefit from noticing their own internal states throughout the day. If you're feeling agitated or stressed, think about small acts of self-care that will fill your bucket. With full buckets, we have more to offer ourselves and our families. ⁠
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🦋 And when we're kind to others, it not only fills their buckets, but our own buckets get a little fuller too. 🥰⁠
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📘 Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children, by Carol McCloud⁠
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📗 Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids, by Carol McCloud⁠
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📒 How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Rules for Talking to Me. ⁠
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Reflecting on what kids and teens need in relationships helps them to identify their own boundaries around how they want to be treated by others. ⁠
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Some kids might identify a need for space; others might request patience or kindness. ⁠
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This exercise helps kids recognize and communicate what they're needing, and it's also an opportunity to consider what others might be needing. Some of our needs are universal and others are subjective and unique to us. ⁠
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Through this exploration, kids develop a stronger sense of self and a greater capacity for empathy.⁠
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What would you include in your list of rules? ⁠
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When kids' behavior is challenging, there's a common impulse to shut it down, ignore it, or disconnect from it in some way. If we bring our curiosity to the moment though, we can ask ourselves, what need or feeling is this behavior expressing? ⁠
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💜 It might be a need to slow down if the child is overwhelmed. ⁠
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💙 It might be a need for reassurance if the child is stressed. ⁠
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💚 It might be a need for connection if the child is feeling alone. ⁠
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When we shut down or ignore challenging behavior, we miss an important opportunity to tune in to our child's feelings and meet their emotional needs. ⁠
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Mindful and loving connection with children:⁠
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💛 Builds resilience⁠
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🧡 Strengthens secure attachment⁠
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❤️ Helps kids learn to regulate their emotions and impulses.⁠
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Last year, Juneteenth was made an official federal holiday to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. ⁠
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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. ⁠
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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
A dear friend sent me this beautiful Trauma-Informed Yoga Affirmation Card Deck created by Zabie A. Yamasaki. ⁠
@transcending_trauma_with_yoga/⁠
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Affirmations pictured here: ⁠
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🌿 I offer myself patience, kindness, gratitude, and compassion.⁠
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🌿 My needs are important. ⁠
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🌿 I am not alone in this experience.⁠
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🌿 I honor the layers of my diverse and unique lived experience. ⁠
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🌿 I deserve to take up space.⁠
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🌿 I trust the strength of my body to hold me today. ⁠
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I love choosing a card at random and reflecting on the affirmation and following the yoga prompts on the back of each card. ⁠
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This deck support a daily practice of connecting mind, heart, and body. 💗 ⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Lanyards. This is a fun art activity for older kids and teens. ⁠
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I find that with teens especially, they open up more when they have something else to focus on, such as weaving or knitting while spending time together. ⁠
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There's also a lovely meditative aspect to this project - weaving over and under, over and under. It's like breathing in and breathing out. ⁠
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I'll link to a simple tutorial for how to make these in my bio. ⁠
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Supplies: colorful vinyl plastic cord, key ring (if you choose to make one into a key chain)⁠
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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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