Updated: Sep 4
As a Mindful Life Coach for Parents and Parents-to-be, my primary focus is supporting the well-being of parents (hence the tagline: Coaching + Meditation + Mindfulness for Balanced Living and Parent Sanity). But the truth is I can never get too far away from my background as a Child Development Specialist and Early Childhood and Elementary Educator. Because it's really all so interconnected, isn't it? As children we were incredibly influenced by the actions, words, and inactions of our parents and caregivers. And now as adults, we greatly influence and impact our little ones with our actions, words, and inactions (no pressure, right?!).
And the truth for many of us is that in order to step into the parent (and person) we truly want to be, we actually do need to revisit, feel, heal and release some of the childhood hurts and wounds from our past that may have shaped us in ways that are no longer serving us. It is a parallel process. Parenthood can motivate you to face and heal your past and change the trajectory of your future, while also evolving generational patterns in a way that better serves your family and your children. --> If you are like "this is me!", please check out my upcoming 3-week program "Stress Relief through Mindful Living" (it begins January 15th) or hit me up for a free Discovery Session to see how I can support you on your journey!
All this to say, while the main focus of my work is supporting parents and parents-to-be, I often share parallel Mindful (Positive, Peaceful, Respectful, etc.) Parenting tips, resources, and research with my program participants and one-on-one clients. My coaching sessions and programs include guided therapeutic meditations for parents that regulate the nervous system, increase self-awareness and acceptance of all parts of yourself, and help you to shift aspects of yourself (physical, emotional, cognitive thoughts, etc.) that may no longer be serving you (or may be causing you a shit ton of stress, anxiety, depression, etc.). In addition to our work together, the meditations can be used daily to literally reprogram your brain and rewire your neural pathways- away from the patterns that are no longer serving you, while strengthening neural pathways (i.e., thought highways) that do serve you, and reinforce the life, actions, behaviors, sensations you want to cultivate in your life.
During a recent group coaching session with my November/December "Stress Relief through Mindful Living" group I shared that I actually walk my (super spirited, high-energy, and easily dysregulated) 4-year old through a mini-guided meditation practice each night. The nights that I don't she spends 1-2 hours playing frantically in her room trying to unwind herself from the day. The nights that I do, she's asleep before I leave the room. I feel like a magician, really. The mini-meditation for kids parallels a lot that we cover in the Therapeutic Meditations. It reinforces important core emotional needs of children, such as a sense of safety, support, being unconditionally loved, a sense of belonging. It also includes research-based nervous system regulation techniques like breathing exercises and a body scan, that help activate the child's parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest) while strengthening their interoceptive sensory processing abilities (i.e., body awareness). And it's only about 8 minutes! Most importantly, it helps them relax, fall asleep more easily, and sleep deeply and more peacefully.
As a thank you to you for being a part of this community, I wanted to share a copy of the Kid's Nighttime Meditation Script (PDF), a recorded audio example (audio is for your reference- it is more powerful for you to lull your kiddo off to sleep), as well as two free guided meditations for you! You can access all four HERE. You'll also find a special discount code for my upcoming 8-week virtual program "Stress Relief through Mindful Living".
Note: For those that have already downloaded your free meditations, you can find the two new additions at that same link (feel free to ping me if you need the link again!).
Here's to sweet dreams and mindful living for you and your kiddos!
In Parenting Solidarity,
Kendall Heaton, MSW
FB and Insta @kendallheatoncoaching