Book Review: Mindfulness for Parents
Author Amber Hatch
About the Author:
Amber Hatch is a childminder, teacher and writer. She has practised Buddhist meditation for six years both in daily practice and on retreat, and her latest book, “Colouring for Contemplation” (Watkins Publishing, due out Nov 2015), draws from this experience. “Colouring for Contemplation” is a collaboration with her illustrator husband Alex Ogg. Amber and Alex have created a unique colouring book which explores the themes of mindfulness, insight and inspiration. The book offers readers a chance to combine colouring with reflection and personal growth, and takes the reader on a journey of creativity and discovery.
Amber has two children and she uses mindfulness to inform her approach to parenting. She discovered baby-led potty training (BLPT) shortly after the birth of her first baby in 2008. Amazed by the success of the method, she set up www.nappyfreebaby.co.uk to provide a UK source of information for families. She runs free monthly BLPT workshops in Oxford to support other parents and offers a consultation service. Her first book, “Nappy Free Baby: a practical guide to baby-led potty training from birth” (Vermilion 2015), is based on the wealth of knowledge she gained from working with hundreds of families.
Amber and her husband, Alex, live in Oxford with their two children.
Parenting may be our most important and rewarding task, yet dealing with the everyday pressures of family life is a constant challenge. Mindfulness is the number-one tool for staying present and calm amidst the chaos. So how can we parents be more mindful when raising our children?
In this personal yet extremely practical guide, Amber Hatch will show you what mindfulness is, how you do it and how it will help you rise to the challenges of parenthood. Packed with examples, you will learn how to:
- Stay calm in a crisis
- Feel more connected to your children
- Deal with day-to-day pressures and flashpoints
- Feel good about how you talk to your family
- Keep a sense of perspective
- Maintain and develop a meditation practice
Whether you already use mindfulness techniques or not, this book will help you achieve a calmer, happier and more relaxed family life. If you are a happy mum, you will have a happy baby.
This book on mindfulness for parents by Amber Hatch explains mindfulness as the following:
“Thoughts can often entice us away from the experience of real life, as it is happening. There are times when it is absolutely appropriate for you to be figuring out how to pay the gas bill, but that time is not when you are getting ready for your son’s swimming class. Being mindful when thinking can keep us on track, but this can particularly tricky as thoughts can be intoxicating and make us forget to be aware.” Page 21
I thought the book was well written with a TON of practical advice. I especially liked the gray tip boxes through out the chapters and the review at the end. The author shared personal stories and stories from others which was quite helpful in trying to relate the advice to certain situations.
I would have enjoyed a resource guide, possibly at the end of the book which provided resources to help parents and teachers in regards to the topics in each chapter.
More quotes I enjoyed and learned from the book:
“When we practice mindfulness, we start to see each other as we really are. This can enable us t become more connected with ourselves adn those around us. Buddhism teaches that there are four qualities that we can develop on a foundation of mindfulness. 1. Loving-Kindness 2. Compassion 3. Joy 4. Equanimity” Page 41
“Just like mindfulness, the four qualities can be actually cultivated. This means if we practice them, we can actually feel more love, more joy, more compassion and more equanimity.” Page 42
“Equanimity is the quality that enables us to continue to love and feel compassion and joy even when it’s difficult. It protects us by keeping us balanced and grounded.” Page 53
“Kindness turns to compassion when it finds pain and joy when it finds happiness.” page 59
Advice to keep things simple to practice mindfulness: Keep your home clutter free, Don’t let toys take over, Beware of overscheduling the kids, monitor screen time and spend time in nature. Page 90
On listening (which goes along with my word of the year, CONNECT)
“We listen, not so we can respond with our own ideas, but so we can really find out about people.” Page 113
Ted Talk mentioned in the book by Dave Morris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUO-pWJ0riQ