Activities for Parents and Guardians

You Are the Solution

There is nothing you need to say—to your child, yourself, or anyone else—that cannot be said with love or at least respect.

Along with mindfulness you are also a solution:

  • Listen
  • Speak on their level
  • Treat them with respect
  • Show genuine concern and attention
  • Encourage communication

Mindful Communication

  • Make eye contact, speak when you are within touching distance
  • Use a calm and respectful tone of voice
  • Take responsibility in your part; get rid of the idea that in order to make your children do better you have to make them feel worse
  • Try to see your child’s point of view
  • Use “I” Language and authentic speech
  • Practice speaking for 30sec or less, then pause, breathe and relax. Listen, staying relaxed & holding compassionate attitude
  • Notice any tendency to over-include (or give too little) detail or context to what you are saying
  • Practice being present with yourself and with whom you are speaking (pay attention to thoughts, feelings, urges, body language, and emotional tone)
  • Practice speaking from the heart

For more information, go to: http://www.asktulum.com/thoughts_speakingto.html

Mindful Listening

Listening is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Teens want to be truly heard.

Ways you can listen mindfully are:

  • When listening, fully listen
    • Notice the tendency to interrupt
    • Notice the impulse to say something or give feedback
    • Notice judgmental thoughts
    • Practice openness, empathy, and being non-judgmental
  • Listen without judgment
    • Even if you think what they are saying isn’t important
    • Be aware of self-other judgments
  • Listen without thinking of the next thing to say
    • When you are preoccupied with thinking of the next thing to say, you may be missing out on what is currently being said, and you are unable to “drop in” to the present moment and the present conversation.
  • Respond without “why” questions
  • Instead, use how questions
    • “How” questions are useful in exploring the conversation more deeply and may touch upon the child’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions.

Self-Care for Parents and Guardians

You need to be able to take care of yourself before you can fully take care of your teen. You are the key to showing your teen that self-care is NOT the same as being selfish.