Parenting Strategies: Mindful Parenting

Presenters Elizabeth Perryman, founder of Upstream Mindfulness, opens a new window, and Jill Zatsko, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) teacher and Smoky Hill Library staff member, provided an introduction to mindful parenting. 

During those challenging moments when your family is tired, cranky and looking to you to calm the chaos, in that moment your ability to respond mindfully rather than react automatically can make all the difference. Your child’s developing nervous system takes cues from, and will often mirror, your state of agitation or calm. The presenters provided simple activities to practice mindfulness and provided resources for further exploration. Even though the presentation was geared towards families with children ages 0-5, this works well for anyone, no matter the age!


Some of the take-aways from the program were:

  • Consider your attention, attitude and intention
  • Let go of your planning mode, your thinking ahead mode and take time to be present and in the moment.
    • Stop human DOING. You're a human BEING.
  • When you check in with yourself during challenging parenting moments, ask yourself, "What's going on with me? How am I showing up?" This helps provide a dimension of awareness.
  • Check your tension and muscles. Drop your shoulders, relax your jaw. This helps you become more calm by stimulating the vagus nerve.
  • The pandemic's affect on health and safety wear us all down. Try to not "flip your lid" and go into primitive responses where you React instead of Respond during those challenging parenting moments.
    • Pause, breathe deeply - Practice hot chocolate breathing!
    • Use STOP - Stop what you're doing; Take a breath; Observe what's happening with you (name how you're feeling); give yourself Permission to Proceed calmly.
  • Try to stop self-judgment and remember you won't always be perfect. It's okay to give yourself grace!
  • Use nourishing self-talk. Talk to yourself like you would a good friend. Be kind to yourself!

To find mindfulness books for both adults and children, please check out these lists: 

Mindfulness for Families

List created by ArapahoeErinR

Nonfiction and picture books about mindfulness.

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Take a Deep Breath: Yoga and Mindfulness

List created by ArapahoeMollie

Did you know that learning uses your whole body? It's true. Take a moment to tune into yours with these picture books, music CDs, nonfiction and parenting books about yoga and mindfulness.

View Full List


To practice mindfulness, join us for our Guided Mindfulness Meditation Drop-In Virtual Event, opens a new window, Tuesdays at 10 am and Thursdays at 6 pm.


Join us for Parenting Strategies: Ready to Read on Tuesday, March 16th at 4:00 pm. Early literacy librarians will guide participants through how to chose books for every age and stage of children ages 0 to 5.


If you were not able to attend our mindfulness program, you can watch a recording of the program on our YouTube channel, opens a new window.

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