Cheryl Blackington

Parenting is Hard: Mindfulness to the Rescue

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” Elizabeth Lawrence By now we have settled into the school year, established our routines, and maybe even had a bit of time to relax and soak in the beauty of fall. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The warm air is balanced with a bit of coolness. Temperatures begin to drop drastically at night and rise quickly during the day. Our days become shorter and a general softness settles in. The leaves turn brilliant colors, eventually falling and becoming crisp and fluffy. Mother Nature is preparing to rest and …

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Parenting Through a Pandemic (and Beyond): Presence, Not Perfection

“When we hug, our hearts connect and we know that we are not separate beings.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices The exasperation of parenting COVID-style has become the theme of many online memes, sarcastic jokes, and parodies to try to ease the intensity of this very intense experience. Perhaps just the words “COVID” or “virtual schooling” are enough to trigger thoughts of doom and gloom. It has certainly been a difficult year on many many levels. Trying a Different Perspective If we had the time to reflect on this past year, I believe that we could each …

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How Parents Can Share Mindfulness with Their Families

As a youth mindfulness educator, parents often ask me, “What can I do if my teen won’t attend mindfulness classes?” My answer might be surprising, but it is always, “Learn and practice mindfulness yourself.”  Our children learn from our behaviors: How we express ourselves when we’re happy, sad, or mad; how we find ways to bring calm into our own lives; how well we can be present for them and really listen and support them when they’re struggling.  Learning to be present with ourselves first can be a beautiful gift we then share with our children. Begin With Present-Moment Awareness …

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Support for the School Year

Each August, teachers, parents, and students anxiously await the beginning of a new school year. It is a time of new beginnings; of learning new things and making new friends—as well as facing new challenges. We look forward to seeing our friends again and returning to a predictable schedule.  This year, however, we can add the fear of the unknown to this already rich stew. In times like these, I find that practicing mindfulness and mindful self-compassion is very helpful. By practicing these skills, we can see our worries more objectively, gain a better understanding of how we can take …

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My Journey to Mindful Parenting

Imagine bringing mindfulness into your parenting journey. Imagine finding a source of peace and acceptance with yourself and your kids, even at the worst of times. Imagine being able to take a breath and pause before you react in an unhelpful way. Imagine developing a self-care ritual so you don’t feel so overwhelmed and so stressed. Parents have a huge impact on their children. Our kids watch us and model our actions, words, and emotions based on how we conduct ourselves. It is not so much what you say, as what you do. Parenting Fantasy vs. Parenting Reality I was …

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