How Mindfulness Helps You & Your Children Cope

Updated: Jun 16

As a busy mom of two young toddlers, 10 minutes can honestly be hard to come by. Making those 10 minutes “mindful” seemed like a somewhat impossible task. Was the mindfulness supposed to fit in before or after the poopy diapers? During the poopy diapers? Was I somehow supposed to shop for groceries in a more mindful way all while wrangling my feisty one-year-old wild child through the aisles of my local grocery store?

I admittedly picked up Goldie Hawn’s “10 Mindful Minutes” during a busy chapter of any woman’s life, those first few years of motherhood that simultaneously drag on and fly by. Just to give you some perspective, I’m “writing” this article on my iPhone while applying my makeup in the drive-through of Starbucks as my daughter naps in the backseat of the car. I’ve got a conference call with a client in 1 hour and I haven’t had breakfast yet so like most days, I’m multitasking. (Is there a word for *super* multitasking? As in, doing more than two tasks at once… is that just called mothering?)

The way that I often need to live my daily life to keep up with the demands of being a work-from-home-entrepreneur while raising my family feels like the opposite of mindfulness. Am I proud of my ability to do 15 things at once? Yes. Is it my preference? Definitely not.

The truth is that even in this chaos, I have the opportunity to choose mindfulness and go about my day more mindfully. So instead of scarfing down my sous vide egg bites I decide to savor them. Mindful eating is introduced in chapter 8 of “10 Mindful Minutes.” It’s a simple way to bring more awareness to your senses. You simply slow down and think about the tastes, the textures, and the smells you experience as you are eating instead of just thoughtlessly consuming food. These egg bites are smooth, creamy, salty, earthy and in the ten minutes it takes me to eat them, I have somehow managed to be more mindful.

What I loved about this book is that it was jam-packed with practical examples of mindfulness, all with the intention of “giving our children -and ourselves- the social and emotional skills to reduce stress and anxiety for healthier, happier lives.” The techniques and practices in the book are all backed up by science and Goldie brings her optimistic, upbeat personality to everything that she shares. She makes these concepts simple and light-hearted which is a breath of fresh air seeing as often subjects like meditation, mindfulness, or “conscious” parenting can bring a lot of pretentiousness along with it.

The book weaves together the art and science of how mindfulness can improve our mental health, focusing on the impact that these techniques can have on children. Hawn’s commitment to improving outcomes for youth is evidenced in her MindUp program which “teaches the skills and knowledge children need to regulate their stress and emotion, form positive relationships, and act with kindness and compassion.” Data from years of utilizing this program in schools across the country is mixed with real-life stories and examples, both from Goldie’s own family and the families who have participated in the program. The balance of humor, research, inspirational quotes, and mindfulness exercises made it such an enjoyable read.

As busy parents, it’s easy to put simple pleasures on the back burner or to prioritize the mundane task that feels most important in the moment but the research in this book proves that stopping to smell the roses can have a far greater impact on our kids (and ourselves) than checking things off of a to-do list. Each chapter focuses on a concept like optimism, happiness, gratitude, anger, sadness, fear, empathy, or kindness. First, the research is presented and you have the opportunity to learn about heavy-hitting nervous system work in a way that is digestible, relatable, and often heartwarming. Next Goldie offers personal reflections which are usually stories from her own life and family, these snippets are charming and encouraging. Lastly, she shares practices on each topic that will help you and your children embody the concepts covered. These practices are small shifts that we can make during our day-to-day life or simple exercises that we can incorporate into our family rhythm.

This book is a lovely addition to your parenting reading list, but it’s more than just a book on how to raise mindful kids. I found “10 Mindful Minutes” to be the perfect introduction to the science of mental health- even for someone who has no experience in the field. Goldie’s stories are full of sweetness and humor and if you finish the book and only introduce one of the practices into your family life you’ll be better for it. I know that I catch myself slowing down often after reading this book, although I decidedly do not practice mindful sensing during diaper changes.

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