Whether you are a teacher, principal, school psychologist or educator, you may also be a parent. While your students demand much of your energy, beginning your day in a mindful way with your own family, sets the tone for a successful day at school.

Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to get connected with your kids in an intentional, present and stress-free way.

1. Get connected first thing in the morning by putting down your phone, getting off the computer and saying, “What can I do for you today, to make this a wonderful day?”
2. Get up early enough to spend time at the kitchen table eating, talking and even joking around.
3. Find time each day to center yourself in a place of mindful calm by breathing in, breathing out and saying a meaningful mantra to yourself.
“Today I will look with love into the eyes of my child.”
“Today, I will slow down long enough to be kind to a person in need.”
“Today, I will resist rushing and choose a few moment to just ‘Be’.”
4. Resist rushing and pushing your child on to the next event. Prepare, preview and look forward to what’s ahead.
Instead of, “Hurry up let’s go!”
Say, “In a few minutes we will be putting our cars away and preparing to go to school. Let’s enjoy this moment with our cars, before we head upstairs to prepare for the day.”
5. Take a moment each day to reflect on living with intent. What’s the one thing you will say, think or do today in a purposeful way?
For today, I’m going to be intentional about watching my daughter at sports without answering my phone or clicking on updates. I’m going to bring some iced tea with lemon and simply be there. As we get back to school next week, I am going to present and attentive when my students need me. Join me this school year in being present with intention, beginning at home, one interaction at a time.

kenney-team-lynneLynne Kenney, Psy.D., is a Harvard-trained psychologist, a mother of two teens, an international educator, author and a pediatric psychologist in Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Kenney is the creator of the Social-Emotional Literacy program Bloom Your Room™, co-author with Wendy Young of Bloom: 50 things to say, think and do with anxious, angry and over-the-top-kids and author of The Family Coach Method. Her most recent book Musical Thinking: 5 Simple Steps To Teaching Children How They Think introduces her direct instruction method to improve executive function skills. Dr. Kenney’s next book, 70 Play Activities For Better Thinking, Self-Regulation, Learning and Behavior is available Fall 2016.