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Mindfulness exercises can seem like a big undertaking. The good news they don’t have to be! What is a mindful moment? Read on to learn more about what mindfulness is and why it is important for healthy parenting.

MINDFULNESS DEFINITION: a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Why Practice Mindfulness

The results of practicing mindfulness are easy to see. For children, the practice allows them to navigate difficult emotions, handle anxiety without getting overwhelmed, and build emotional awareness and self-knowledge, while experiencing and considering their feelings. They learn to slow down their response times in difficult situations and make better decisions before reacting, increasing cognitive flexibility and frustration tolerance.

For parents, practicing mindfulness means being more in control over your reactions to the stressful situations you encounter daily as an adult, feeling more connected and present with your family members, finding your body less tense throughout the day, and stepping fully into joyful moments with awareness and calm.

Despite its popularity, mindfulness can seem like a big undertaking. It often feels mysterious and out of reach. Many of us may find ourselves wondering how on earth we’re supposed to find a “quiet moment” to sit cross-legged and breathe amongst the busyness of our everyday life routines. If we did get such a moment for a mindful minute we’re scared of what may greet us when we actually pause, worried that if we’re not “calm and clear-headed,” then we’re not “doing it right.”

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Good News: You’re likely already practicing!

Parents and caregivers practice mindfulness all the time, we may just not identify it that way because of common misperceptions about what everyday mindfulness is all about. That long eye gazes between you and your newborn… the tender nighttime snuggles and lullabies after dressing your little one in soft pajamas… the heartfelt hello and bear hug at school pick-up. You can follow mindful practice in your daily life each time you pick up one of Slumberkins’ social emotional learning books and connect with your child.

To kick off the new year, we’re inviting our Slumberkins Community to intentionally incorporate mindful moments into each day with your children! These moments enliven all your senses and include reflective questions and positive language from our friend Yeti for you and your kiddos to contemplate.

Mindfulness Meditation vs. Present Moment Mindfulness

Mindfulness exercises can be practiced in countless ways. The cross-legged variety, called Mindfulness Meditation, is only one of the many unique approaches to a practice whose benefits are as vast as they are ancient. The "present moment" is available to you anytime you want to bring awareness to what is happening in your inner and outer experience. Unlike those autopilot drives to work when we arrive in the parking lot with little recollection of our journey to get there, mindfulness training invites us to notice everything passing through our sensory doors — the sounds, smells, sights, tastes, body sensations, thoughts, and feelings — that we are experiencing right now.

Wait, so do all those experiences have to be pleasant and calm in order to be mindful? Not at all!

Say your toddler is melting down at the end of a long day. Notice your heart rate increase and the unpleasant emotions that may arise. Name them in your mind. Then take a few deep belly breaths, imagining any negative thoughts that arise moving from your head to your belly. Without judging yourself for having these thoughts, you might instead use positive language and a compassionate statement like, “I’m doing my very best at this moment. I'm OK.” Like watching a churning sea from a lighthouse perched upon a cliff, mindfulness allows you to experience tantrums or stressful situations without getting swept up by the tide. If you do find yourself losing your patience,  the mindfulness technique allows you to notice that fact without criticizing yourself harshly and regroup — for that moment of impatience, too, shall pass!

Mindfulness training is about seizing the moment in everyday life, regardless of whether it’s calm, chaotic, or otherwise, and being kind to yourself through it. Over time and with mindful practice, you will notice a shift to a more tranquil inner state.

Join us this month for Mindful Moments with the Slumberkins Family!

74 comments

  • Jessica Kandola

    Mindfulness has become a huge part of our everyday. My son’s school has started an initiative this year and I believe it is single-handedly helping him conquer and control his anxiety. He has become so much calmer and he does not react as impulsively as he used to. We have supported Slumberkins for years and have many in our home so we were thrilled to see the addition of mindfulness to your brand as well. We love your suggestions and have incorporated many into our daily routines.


  • Sharon

    Whenever someone gets upset or assumes something, I used to get defensive. I’ve learned to ask questions rather than react right away. Why do you feel this way? Where is this coming from? What happened? It helps your spouse child think about their mood too and helps me not to assume.


  • Anny

    Thank you for having this month of mindfulness! It’s a great way to think of things differently especially after the last months of holidays, the rushed atmosphere, and materials accumulated! I am practicing being more mindful with my time and space. My husband and I both work so when we come home we only have 2 hours with the kids before bedtime. I choose those moments to focus on them. When they are being more rough or vocal, it is because they are extra excited to have us home and want to share with us everything they weren’t able to do so during the day. When they are upset, I think of why they are upset and how I can ease their feelings while letting them know it is okay to feel upset. I am being more present and focused on the now. It’s hard at times when you come home from work tired and have wild kids attack you but I jump right in and tackle right back and enjoy the giggles and laughter. We are spending nights reading in bed, playing on the floor, and just basking in each others’ presence.


  • Rachel N

    Mindfulness is so important in my everyday life. I try to slow down each day and focus on myself and not get caught up in the his hussle and bussle of everyday life


  • Carly

    Thank you for this reminder to slow down and soak it all in… with all the busyness of being a working mom I often find myself overwhelmed and tired. Mindfulness is an amazing skill that I plan to focus more on. I want to enjoy each day rather than just try to get through it. I want to model this to my daughter. We already enjoy moments of mindful cuddling with her Bigfoot slumberkins before bed 💕


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