This is a video in which Emily Bennington and Debra Hickok discuss four steps that we can take to become more mindful of our responses to emotional situations. (Thanks, Emily and Debra, for this great resource.)
Below are a few books I’ve found useful in my quest to be a more mindful parent. Part of this reading was useful for me as I ‘collected data’ so that I am more able to understand my kids’ contexts, and so that I can (ideally!) bring compassion to each situation.
The framework in this book is a life-saver for helping clarify the steps we can take to express our needs and make requests.
You’ll need to put aside some time to practise the steps, to think about how you can change what you’re doing, perhaps watch Rosenberg himself in action (on YouTube), in order to see how effective his method is.
Decoding your 21st century daughter: The anxious parent’s guide to raising a teenage girl
Dr Helen Wright
One of the big challenges for 21st century parents with digital natives is how to manage social media and screen-time. This book addresses these issues, specifically with girls in mind. It’s also a really great overview of girls’ needs and drivers, written by someone who’s taught and worked with teenaged girls specifically, for many years.
Teen Stages: Year-by-year approach to understanding your ever-changing teen
Elizabeth and Ken Mellor
This is a great book for understanding what you can expect of your teen at various stages of their teen journey. I’ve found that when I know what I can expect of my child, it’s easier to set boundaries and to be confident about decisions.
I just love that this book is so positive and loving and reassuring, while being practical about when to step in and when to step out.
It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
Boyd is the one who coined the phrase ‘networked publics’. She’s a sociologist who has a refreshingly unflustered approach to what can be a minefield of ‘feels’ for parents. I found it helpful to have some sociological context around what our kids (and we) are doing when we’re connecting online. She demystifies teens’ behaviours and reminds us that, at heart, we’re all geared towards community so we need to stop being afraid of communicating with our kids … and with other people’s kids.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler
This book was recommended to me by Emily Bennington, and it is a great book to use in tandem with mindfulness. It is (as it promises) full of great tools for skilful conversations in emotionally charged situations. These tools are as useful for talking to teens as much as they are for work or other life situations.
Boundaries with kids
Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend
This is a good book for the basics about boundaries: why they’re necessary, and how to set them. It was recommended to me by a friend whose parenting style is really inspiring. The book has a Christian underpinning, so there is God-talk, which you can take or leave.
Byron Katie has some freely downloadable worksheets on her website, and there is a PDF for children (and an adult version!) which may be useful in learning how to become more aware that we can choose how we view others.