Susan Stiffelman's Parenting Without Power Struggles Podcast

On her new pod for parents, Susan Stiffelman engages in a fun, wide ranging conversation with Susan Kaiser Greenland. They talked easy ways to make mindfulness part of a family's routine, and how kids want parents to be the "captain of the ship," an analogy that jibes with the classical idea of a mindfulness as a ferryman and his boats the qualities of patience, generosity, ethics, perseverance, concentration, and wisdom.

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Podcastscasey altman
Mindful Mama Podcast

Mindfulness Together — Susan Kaiser Greenland [180]:Mindfulness practices help you become less reactive, so how can you share it with your kids? It helps kids enormously to carry with them a set of tools to help them whenever they get upset or life gets overwhelming. My guest today, Susan Kaiser Greenland, has made a career out of sharing these tools with kids in ways that truly make a difference. 

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Your Special Star

In this guided meditation for young children, we imagine that everyone has a special star that's with them all the time. We picture in our heads what our star looks and feels like and learn how just imagining it can help us feel more relaxed and calm.

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Learning to Float, from Mindful Parent, Mindful Child

I was thinking about swim teachers and the backwards law, or the law of reverse effect – and about how sometimes, the harder we try, the less likely we are to succeed. I was curious whether the instructions swim teachers use to teach people to float are similar to the instructions meditation teachers use to teach people to meditate.  

So, I typed “how to float” into a search engine and guess what. I found a set of clear, succinct instructions that could have as easily have been for meditators as swimmers.   Listen to them here, in one of thirty, brief guided meditations for busy grownups.

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Listen To The Rain

Listen to the rain and notice whether the sound stays the same or changes. Does anything other than sound change when we relax and listen in this way? Do our bodies change? Do our minds change? In this guided meditation from Susan Kaiser Greenland, young children learn how everything changes when they focus their attention on just one thing. 

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5 Enthusiastic "Yesses" for Every "No," from Mindful Parent, Mindful Child

Recently, more and more attention is being given to cognitive biases – psychological traits that have evolved in response to changing environments. A cognitive bias that gets a lot of attention, at least in meditation circles, is the negativity bias. Simply put, having a negative bias means we tend to give more weight to negative input, lousy news, challenging feelings, things about which we're worried than to positive information, good news, lighthearted feelings, things about which we're excited.

Scientists don't agree on how much good news it takes to balance out a single piece of bad news, but five positive inputs for every negative one is a ratio I've seen cited by several researchers. If we use a five-to-one ratio as our rule of thumb, that means let's give ourselves five enthusiastic “yesses,” for every "no!" 

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Practice Mindfulness First, from Mindful Parent, Mindful Child

When we get caught in the grip of strong emotions our nervous systems shift to high-alert. Then it’s difficult, if not impossible, for us to be open and flexible, to listen and to learn.  There’s a name for this – it’s called emotional hijack –a term coined by Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence.  So, what do you do? You practice mindfulness first. What I mean by practicing mindfulness first, is that you use one of the many useful, mindfulness-based calming strategies that can quiet your nervous system and turn the table on emotional hijack.

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Mindful Parent, Mindful Child: An Audio Journey from Sounds True

Mindfulness practice has been shown to enhance our health and quality of life at any age. It’s no wonder so many of us want to teach mindfulness to our kids—but how can a busy parent find both the time and the right approach? “The surest way to raise a mindful child is to be a mindful parent,” teaches Susan Greenland. With Mindful Parent, Mindful Child, this expert teacher presents an audio journey created to help families discover the life-changing power of mindfulness together—in just ten minutes a day.

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Letting Go Without Giving Up

Are you familiar with the law of reverse effect or the Backwards Law? Sometimes, the harder we try the less likely we are to succeed. For those built with a strong work ethic, the Backwards Law can be hard to get our minds around. What are we supposed to do?  Give up?  No. Giving up isn't what the Backwards Law is about, it's about relating differently to our goals and aspirations.

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Becoming Comfortable With Uncertainty

It's not possible for parents to know the answer to every question, yet sometimes we act like we do anyway. We resist saying “I don’t know” because we think they’ll feel safer if they believe we know the answer. Often, the opposite is true and kids whose parents are comfortable saying “I don’t know, at least not yet, let’s figure this out together” have more agency and control. And so do their parents.

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10% Happier with Dan Harris, #121: Susan Kaiser Greenland and Annaka Harris, Teaching Mindfulness to Kids

Fun, wide-ranging conversation with Susan Kaiser Greenland, Dan Harris and Annaka Harris (no relation) on everything from advice for sharing mindfulness with kids, to the origin story of the Inner Kids Foundation, to somewhat controversial topics like careerism and teaching kids a practice that evolved from Eastern spiritual traditions.

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