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Generation Stress: From Surviving to Thriving | Kristen Race | TEDxMileHigh
Settle Down, Pay Attention, Say Thank You: A How-To: Kristen Race at TEDxMileHighWomen
8 Steps to a Happier Family Life
Stop trying to do some things 100 percent and start making other sanity-saving things a habit.
It's OK to Check Out a Little While the Kids Play
Is anyone climbing onto the roof? No? OK, go ahead and answer a few text messages. A 2013 study from the University of Missouri, in Columbia, looked at children with mothers who were overly directive or controlling of their choices during playtime. (Think "The blocks go this way, not that way.") The researchers found that the children showed more negative emotions toward their mothers than did kids who played on their own. "Being there is important, and you don't have to be completely hands-off, but early play works best if the child is in charge," says Jean Ispa, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and a professor in the department of human-development and family studies at the University of Missouri. Free, unstructured play bolsters young brains, too. "Kids have to think creatively and adapt to new situations, which is part of developing the ability to solve problems," says Kristen Race, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of Mindful Parenting ($12, amazon.com). Read full article...
How to Raise Happy Kids - Unplug for a While
The families with the highest happiness quotients are those who feel truly connected to each other, say experts. They make time to focus on one another -- listen to problems, share a much-needed hug. But there's growing concern that our gadget obsession may be fraying these all-important bonds IRL. In researching her book The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, family therapist Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD, interviewed more than 1,000 children and teenagers: "They talked about having to vie for their parents' attention with a screen. Kids recognize when we are disconnected from them." Her observations are borne out by a recent study in the journal Pediatrics. Almost three quarters of parents observed at Boston-area fast-food restaurants were reported to be using phones during the meal, and while they did, children often tried to get their attention...
...The more families dine together, the less they whine together. "The more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to do drugs, smoke, get depressed, and ditch school, and the more likely they are to get good grades, look people in the eye, learn big words, and say 'please' and 'thank you,' " notes Kristen Race. To fit family dinners into a hectic schedule -- and make them count -- try these tips, then check out thefamilydinnerproject.org for more games and conversation starters. Read full article...
How to Raise Happy Kids: Jump for Joy
Talk about happy feet! How you and your family members hold yourselves and move can actually affect your household vibe. A recent study at the University of Michigan found that subjects who performed movements associated with joy -- jumping, skipping, holding their shoulders open wide, standing tall, and being light on their feet -- experienced a boost in mood. "
Our body is constantly sending signals to our brain that affect our feelings," says Tal Shafir, PhD, a specialist in dance movement therapy and neuroscience who worked on the study. And Shafir herself walks the walk (or skips the skip): "I love skipping and galloping and sometimes do them in the middle of a jogging session.
Adults usually feel uncomfortable skipping, but they can do it with their kids." Moving in this fleet-footed fashion has been shown to make grown-ups feel as happy and free-spirited as children, she says.
Kristen Race, PhD, a psychologist and author of Mindful Parenting, encourages her family to get happy with a different kind of move. They kick off their shoes and groove. "Dancing reduces stress hormones," explains Race. To make it extra fun, "we all take turns choosing songs." They glide across the floor and get silly with their steps, and pretty soon they are howling with laughter. (The other classic stress reliever that gets them wiggling around: tickle fights.) Read full article...
Why trying to make our kids happy can backfire
I once interviewed princesses -- real-life princesses! -- for my 4-year-old daughter's birthday party.
Full stop just to let that statement sink in.
Because it is critical to a child's well-being that you find the perfect princess, right?
When it comes to our children's happiness, we modern day parents will go to unbelievable -- yes, sometimes certifiably insane lengths -- all to make our little ones happy...
Child and family psychologist Kristen Race, founder of Mindful Life, which provides brain-based solutions for families, schools and businesses to cope with today's stresses, points out how last year, an American Psychological Association survey found that when school was in session, teens were the most stressed group of people in America.
A big part of the problem is that connection, a core ingredient for happiness, is missing, said Race, author of "Mindful Parenting," which provides solutions for raising happy kids in today's chaotic world.
"We don't experience as much connection as we did a generation ago. We no longer live in multigenerational homes. We communicate differently, very much through screens or phones or texts, and all of that really impacts our happiness," she said... Read full article...
The Mostly Mindful Parent
Mindful Parenting is having a moment. Mindful Parenting is a blog. And “Mindful Parenting” is a book, not from the same writer. Maybe, for you, it’s a New Year’s resolution (it was for me). Or maybe it’s one more thing setting up parents for failure.
Or maybe (what with being so mindful and all) you’re pretty comfortable with the idea that “mindful” parenting is mostly about putting your mind into being a parent whenever you can, as opposed to whatever the opposite of your mind might be. Your id? Your ego? Your inner child? There is probably a reason that the phrase “visceral parenting” has not really taken off.
For Kristen Race, the author of the book with that particularly of-the-moment title, mindful parenting has a dual meaning. Her concept of mindful integrates that traditional concept of mindfulness with one that puts the emphasis on mind or rather, brain. In her version of “Mindful Parenting,” neuroscience and cognitive development share chapter space with meditative practices. Read Full Article...
New York Times
Teens feeling stressed, and many not managing it well
Experts worry that bad habits for dealing with stress learned early will carry over into adulthood.
Teens across the USA are feeling high levels of stress that they say negatively affect every aspect of their lives, a new national survey suggests.
More than a quarter (27%) say they experience "extreme stress" during the school year, vs. 13% in the summer. And 34% expect stress to increase in the coming year.
Stressors range from school to friends, work and family. And teens aren't always using healthy methods to cope, finds the latest Stress in America survey from the Washington, D.C.-based American Psychological Association...
...Kristen Race, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., author of the book Mindful Parenting, out in January, says teens are generally honest about responding to confidential surveys.
"They're more honest in that situation than telling their parents how stressed they are," she says. "When teens report their own level of stress, it is typically much higher than parents would report of their teen's level of stress." Read Full Article...
Steamboat resident's Mindful Life program takes off
Kristen Race was studying the neurology of stress for her doctorate several years ago when she learned she had an autoimmune disease, likely caused by stress.
The experience strengthened a personal and professional interest in stress and how it affects the brain for Race, who moved from Denver to Steamboat in 2007 with her husband, city council member Kenny Reisman, and their two young children.
“I think we are living in what I call 'generation stress,'” Race said. “A generation of stressed out adults raising a generation of stressed out kids.” Read Full Article...
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Past Press Highlights with Dr. Kristen Race
- Huffington Post: 6 Ways to Help Your Teens Cope with Social Media Stress (March 13, 2014)
- Psychology Today: Surviving Generation Stress: 2 Acts of Engagement (March 12, 2014)
- NPR OnPoint with Tom Ashbrook: Stress and Consequences for American Teens (February 13, 2014)
- USA Today: Teens Feeling Stressed and Many Not Handling it Well February 11, 2014
- Washington Post: Tired of Playing Pretend with Her Daughter, by Marguerite Kelly (February 10, 2014)
- Chicago Tribune: How much to tell Your Kids about Financial Setback, by Heidi Stevens (January 29, 2014)
- Yahoo’s Daily Shot with Ali Wentworth: Are you Stressing your Kids Out? (January 29, 2014)
- New York Times The Mostly Mindful Parent, by KJ Dell’Antonia (January 16, 2014)