Posted on November 10 2016
Whenever I teach a mindfulness class or camp, I always have parents who ask for suggestions as to how they can continue to practice mindfulness at home. I really love this question. First and foremost, I tell them to model kindness, compassion and empathy the best you can. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of having to fit in to social norms and be like everyone else. Be the best person you can be and your child will notice and learn from you daily.
I also share a few things they can do with their child. Feel free to share any or all of these with parents.
- Listen to your child. I mean really listen. Look them in the eyes when they are speaking and put yourself in their shoes when they are sharing their anxieties, happiness, fears and joys.
- Spend time with them. Not just on the couch watching TV, but, play a game, read a book, work on a puzzle or even do a chore together. Just spending time with them will make for a more peaceful, mindful child.
- Take a mindful walk and stop to notice the beauty that surrounds you. Listen to the birds as they fly overhead or hear the traffic on the road. Smell the scents of your area. You may smell exhaust from cars passing or the fresh fall air. Just the act of noticing the scents around you is being focused on the present. Touch the buildings, trees, leaves and earth. How do they feel? Just be present on the walk and notice what you notice.
- Slow down. Our days are crazy full and it has become all too common for our children’s schedules to be just as full as ours. If you are able, take something off your plate or your child’s plate and just enjoy the time that was given back to you. I always refer back to the quote from Danielle LaPorte, “Whatever is on your plate got there because you said yes to it”. Embrace saying no. The world won’t end…I promise.
Written by Laura Zimmer- Author/Creator of The Beginner's Mind Mindfulness Teaching Toolkit - A mindfulness curriculum for elementary children.
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