All posts filed under: Practices That Pay Off

The Science of Positive Psychology & Well-Being

Slowing Down To “see” The Good! What good qualities do you see in your neighbor? A stranger?  Your child? When you run into someone at the coffee shop (whether you know them or not): try to open your mind and look for positive traits in the people around you – they are right in front of you! Practice: Slow down – Step away from the frenetic pace, the quick judgments and short interactions. Spend a few moments being curious about the good qualities in your kids.  Is your son naturally helpful or patient?.  Is your daughter naturally optimistic and uplifting? Or maybe she’s got a lot of energy. Write down three positive qualities that you frequently see in your kids – research has demonstrated that this simple act (after two short weeks) trains your brain to notice these qualities faster than others. Nourishing Happiness Happiness is now a science.  We now know the conditions and practices that are present in the lives of people who report being exceptionally happy. Highly happy people value their happiness: …

Practicing Mindfulness & Being Present

Pause & 3 Deep Breaths It’s human nature to want to connect with others and especially with our children. It is also natural to want to provide feedback to our kids (maybe all too often!) When our kids’ behavior is less than optimal, it’s easy to simply react – sometimes harshly – to correct their behavior. We often overlook the importance of connecting before responding.  When we take time to connect with our kids, even for a moment, express compassion for their feelings and help them feel understood, they are much more open to our suggestions.   Practice: The next time your child is having a tough time, and you have the urge to correct them — take 3 big, deep breaths (which immediately lowers your blood pressure and heart rate) and calm yourself down so you can connect with your child before you try to address, or “correct” their behavior. The Body Scan Mindful Break The greatest gift you can give to yourself and your kids is to be present. Parents are required to …

Cut out the Clutter & Develop a Focus as a Parent

The Here-and-Now Practice Paying attention to the here-and-now is really hard — especially when raising children. It is so hard to focus on the stage that you are in with your calendar or phone constantly pointing out the important things of next week, next month, or next year.   Though there’s plenty of art to raising a child, there’s some really helpful science too.  We know that children develop in predictable patterns and stages, right down to the neurological wiring of the brain to the things your child may like to do.  Children gravitate toward activities that develop skills they need to grow – they are wired for learning from the day they come out of the womb, and they naturally learn through play. Practice: Set aside 10 minutes a day to focus on the present moment with your child.  It can happen anytime….when he’s immersed in play or when he’s doing internet research.   Don’t ask what he’s doing, judge it, or make any suggestions.  Simply notice what your child is doing, and think …

Prepare Yourself & Your Child for the Next Phase of Development

Remember Your ABCs Whether you’re moving your kids from one activity to another or from one stage in life to the next, transitions can be full of stress.  If you can stay calm and intentional, your child will have an easier time remaining focused on what s/he needs to do to move through the transition.  Here are two practices that can help you with transitions, both big and small. Practice: A is for ATTENTION – when things get too busy or chaotic, or we just don’t know what to do, we can always just stop what we’re doing to pay attention.  Pause and focus on the situation — it will help you get grounded B is for BREATHE – paying attention to our breathing can help us become grounded and calm, a better state for compassion, connection, and making decisions. C is for CHOOSE- breathing mindfully can help you make a more intentional and thoughtful choice about the next step. Get In The Space! Transitions can be tough on even the best of us, but …

Practicing Self-Knowledge & Self-Care

Accept Thyself – Warts and All We all have strengths and weaknesses, pet peeves and triggers, or what we broadly call “Your Stuff”.  It’s important to be aware of your “stuff” and conscious not to transpose your “stuff” onto your children. This all starts with self-awareness. For example, if you grew up with a mother who was scared of spiders, you are likely to be scared of them too – after all when you were a baby, you saw how scary a spider is by watching your mother’s reaction!  But if you haven’t had a negative experience with spiders, your fear is mostly unfounded.  Become conscious of your “stuff” and make an effort not to pass it on to your children. Self-knowledge and Self-care are critical to being a Well & Ready parent.   Here are a few ways to learn your needs and care for yourself so you’re available for your family. Practice: Identify two triggers and weaknesses that have become “your stuff”. Answer the following questions in a journal:   How do these affect …

Practices That Pay Off

The Well & Read Practices That Pay Off© are simple, research-tested practices that you can incorporate into your busy life for maximum impact, improving your well-being, your parenting approach, and your child’s healthy development.  We break them down into five categories that define a Well & Ready™ life: Preview some of our Practices that Pay Off© below: