Header for Newsletter
 

Welcome to the Mindful Families March 2020 Newsletter

Dear Mindful Families subscribers,

It feels somewhat surreal to write this newsletter as we face so much uncertainty, fear, worry and loss. I hope that you and your family are keeping safe and socially connected (if not physically). I have been reflecting on how I might support our community in some way, and so I am offering free, playful, mindfulness sessions for kids & families online. I hope they bring moments of connection and care, and hopefully some smiles, in this stressful time.

I am offering my popular Breathe In & Shine: FREE Online: Mindfulness for Children & Families starting March 25 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Details on how to attend listed below.

I am starting a children's collective story writing project in which children are invited to share their ideas and artwork that I will put together in a story to share more broadly. The first one is "How to Hug Your Tears (see info below)

From my family to yours:
May you be healthy, safe, protected and cared for,
Sara Marlowe

***

Book Pick

Between Parent and Child

by Dr. Haim Ginott

Lets' face it. We are in new terrain as parents. We are in close quarters, with minimal to no extended family contact (except for online), no playgrounds, no playdates, no babysitters, bored siblings looking for excitement (a.k.a. randomly poking each other)... and having to ask our children to do the 'unthinkable' - i.e. asking my 4-year old to wear gloves when we go outside, asking her to not keep touching every part of her face - saying, "is this not ok? is this not ok?" and to not use an entire roll of TP when using the bathroom - these, my friends, are desperate times in our home...

"Between Parent & Child" can help. It is beautifully practical - with how to validate what our kids might be really feeling underneath their behaviour. It is amazing to see how validation of feelings can diffuse challenging behaviour (with adults too).

Here's a snippet from Chapter 3, called "Self-defeating Patterns: There's No Right Way to do a Wrong Thing." These patterns, he suggests, include threats, bribes, promises, sarcasm, verbal overkill, sermons and rude teaching on politeness. What?!? I thought I had it all planned how we were going to get through the next while ;)

You'll see how these ideas have been around for a good many years in these great videos by the author:

1. Permissive with Emotions, Strict with Behaviour
2. Always on our child's side
3. Validating our child's upset
1. Permissive with Emotions, Strict with Behaviour
2. Always on our child's side
3. Validating our child's upset
***

Validating Big Feelings

For one of the best examples of how to offer validation, watch how Sadness comforts Bing Bong in Inside Out.

***

Suggested Practice

5 Deep Breaths

We're home. We're doing our best to stay safe. We're doing our best to keep others in our community safe. We have a lot of feelings, ranging from fear, worry, boredom, uncertainty, to restlessness, to hearing the same question for the 47th time, and to missing loved ones.

Sometimes we have fun. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes we just have no clue.

In those moments, when I remember, I find it so helpful to breathe.

Here is the simplest practice to help calm our bodies and minds, so we can be less 'activated' as we go back to face this challenging time.

5 deep breaths with a long exhale. Simple. Helpful.

Based in science. Read more HERE

***
Cover Page

Breathe In & Shine: FREE online. Mindfulness for Children and Families

We are going through a lot right now. Kids. Parents. Families. Here's one way I hope can support you:

Wednesdays, Starting March 25th. 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 ish. EDT. At 9:30 a.m, I will post a list of participant materials (if any) that can be helpful for the session. I will also post an art idea for another 30 minutes after the session.

In this free, weekly mindfulness session, I will share child-friendly mindfulness & self-compassion practices. These include games, stories, art activities and everyday mindful awareness practices. Mindfulness can help us reduce stress, respond to strong feelings such as worry, anger, fear & frustration, support connection and have fun. Best suited for ages 8 and under - but older kids are encouraged to pop in and try it out. And of course parents & caregivers are welcome.

HOW TO ATTEND:
Here is the link to join the Zoom session.
Meeting ID: 977 035 872

I will record each session and post them on my facebook page for later viewing.

Come and go as you please. No registration required. Let's keep it simple & accessible.

You do not need a Zoom account to attend a Zoom meeting or interview. You will be prompted to download the software, once you have clicked on the link provided. You may also wish to create an account, but that is not required to participate in a Zoom meeting.

(This is my first time with this technology. I thank you for your patience and understanding if it doesn't go as planned. If there are technical difficulties, please go to my Facebook page and I will share a new link).

PLEASE NOTE: This program is not therapy. If you are in need of mental health services for yourself or your child, please inquire with your paediatrician, physician or call 911 if in crisis.

***

How to Hug Your Tears: A Collective Children's Story book

Tears are fascinating from an evolutionary perspective. A recent National Geographic magazine summarizing key research on emotions stated that tears serve a key function - to elicit care and comfort from others. Tears resulting from emotions are actually more viscous that tears from external stimuli, such as onions or a cold wind. Scientists posit this ensures tears take longer to run down our face, making it more likely others will notice and respond with care. So efficient!

And yet, we continue to receive messages that discourage this biological mechanism to get comfort - like 'Put those tears away, there's no need to cry, be a big girl / boy, you've got to be strong, etc.' And here we are, facing a situation that will elicit many tears! They will be tears of sadness, loss, fear, worry, frustration, helplessness - tears that need comfort... tears that need a hug.

So here is where the collective wisdom of our children comes in. I invite your children to share what they find comforting when they have tears. And maybe to have a dialogue about creative options when we may not be able to access what we find comforting - i.e. a hug from grandpa if that this not possible right now (it isn't in our home as grandpa is wisely self-isolating).

Children can draw a picture and print (with your help if needed) how they might comfort their tears. There are no guidelines or expectations for they come up with. This is an opportunity for them to turn towards their tears and ponder what might bring them care. I bet they'll come up with ideas we would never imagine! My kids just suggested, "snuggle with mama and kitty," and "do some drawing."

You can scan and email them to sara[at]saramarlowe[dot]com and I will put them together in a story and share back with you. Please also tuck them away in a file folder and when we can be in physical contact again, I will collect them to make a high quality scan.

***

Breathe In & Shine: Family Home Practice Activity & Colouring Book

Interested in a 5 -week home mindfulness practice program for your family? It's
coming soon to mindfulfamilies.ca for a free download!! It includes a week by week program with suggested practices, activities and resources. Available by March 31st.

***
7P-Web-Badge-1

Online therapy for individuals, families, couples

I am now available for online or phone therapy.
You can see a short video and read about my therapy practice here.
or HERE
I am offering sliding scale at least until April 30 for people experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis.

***
71opqdRslkL

MARS-A: Mindful Awareness & Resilience Skills for Adolescents

An online 8-week mindfulness group for teens, adapted from MBSR and MBCT by Dr. Dzung Vo, author of the Mindful Teen. I trained with Dzung and am investigating how to offer this 8-week mindfulness program on Wednesdays, 3:00 - 4:15 pm.

Once I confirm all the details, I will update my website.

***
Laurisa-Sara

Other Upcoming Offerings:

All details will be on my website by April 1st. Feel free to email me at sara[at]saramarlowe[dot]com.

▪ Online Mindful Self-Compassion Group** with myself and Laurisa Dill, RP - either Wednesday evenings or Saturday mornings starting late April or early May. Here's a short video to give a flavour of the program
▪ The Gottman 7 Principles Couples Workshop** - Here's a video that gives an idea of the content.
▪ Bringing Baby Home: A Gottman workshop for new and expecting parents.
Online Mindful Self-Compassion Group** with myself and Laurisa Dill, RP - either Wednesday evenings or Saturday mornings starting late April or early May. Here's a short video to give a flavour of the program
The Gottman 7 Principles Couples Workshop** - Here's a video that gives an idea of the content.
Bringing Baby Home: A Gottman workshop for new and expecting parents.
***

Some Free Mindfulness Resources

▪ Mindful Schools. Free online Mindfulness Classes for Children, 3 days / week
▪ A Mindful Society. Daily Live Mindfulness Stream. 10:00 EST
▪ Discover the Power of Self-Compassion video series by Chris Germer & Kristin Neff
▪ Friday evening guided mindfulness by Sue Hutton
▪ Marni Levitt, Toronto-based teacher. Free guided mindfulness practice & song for adults
▪ DANCE Workout - ok not mindfulness per se, but super fun and I didn't think about COVID at all! We did this with our 2 kids and our cat!
Mindful Schools. Free online Mindfulness Classes for Children, 3 days / week
A Mindful Society. Daily Live Mindfulness Stream. 10:00 EST
Discover the Power of Self-Compassion video series by Chris Germer & Kristin Neff
Friday evening guided mindfulness by Sue Hutton
Marni Levitt, Toronto-based teacher. Free guided mindfulness practice & song for adults
DANCE Workout - ok not mindfulness per se, but super fun and I didn't think about COVID at all! We did this with our 2 kids and our cat!
***

Books by Sara

FrontCover FINAL NOV 2018

The Inside Flashlight

Front Cover White Presence copy

Mindful Monkey Magazine

MNBF cover

My New Best Friend

No Ordinary Apple FINAL cover for WEB

No Ordinary Apple

***
 
 
Powered by Mad Mimi®A GoDaddy® company