It's never too early to get your kids curious!
That's what mindfulness is all about.
Getting connected to the world around you through appreciation, conscious efforts to improve well-being, and finding your own unique brand of service through it all. As adults who have rode the waves of trial & error, success & failure, it's our duty to kindly share what we've observed and encourage heart-centered observation in our next generation. It requires a unique approach, and I'm here to help you look into what that might be!
Here's 5 ways I've found super useful in leading kids around me to empowered mindfulness!
1. Guide Them With Questions
Before you give them all the answers, engage your little one with questions. It's ok if they don't know the answers! Thinking about possibilities is what we humans do best! Asking questions awakens creativity, strengthens self-expression and confidence, and builds communication skills.
2. Explain Your Own Actions
When you make dinner, tell your kid all the details of what you're doing and why. Having conversation in this way, whether your little one is ready to use it or not, it helps them learn language and understand the power of processes. Understanding that things in life take steps, even slicing a tomato, helps kids to grow up valuing time and efforts. Say sayonara to the concept of "instant gratification."
3. Teach Them About Nature
If you grow up learning to value the power in the tiniest bug, or the biggest tree, it becomes a lot easier to value and respect the teachings in everything! Also, since nature doesn't have a voice to speak our language, looking deeply into how it works and the wisdom it holds, allows us to practice understanding things that are truly beyond explanation. This practice can help us learn to embrace the unknown, which we all face at some time in life!
4. Answer Questions In a Detailed but Theatrical Way
If you watched a movie where the characters all had a monotone voice, and little variation in their facial expression, do you think you'd enjoy it? Probably not, it would bore you to sleep and maybe be missing some amazing story or lesson. Same goes for life! What better arena to practice your charming and captivating skills than with your children! When you master this art, you can use it mindfully with anyone. Play with different tones in your voice, gestures, and facial movements, tell yourself a story in the mirror to warm up, then finetune the skill with your children. Always watch their reactions to gauge whats working for them and what isn't.
5. Share a Daily Practice with Them
Lead your kid to appreciate discipline and consistency, through example. When you leave for work, it isn't the same. Invite your little babe to do physical exercise, musical practice, or daily ritual with you. Watch what inspires them or catches their eye about it. It may help to tailor the practice around what they like. Start young, so they may learn to use this tool in their teenage years! They may get a little distracted at times, this is normal! Allow it, but stay in your practice, and invite them back in to join you! Or creatively ask if them running across the yard in the middle of your breathing practice is a new method of deepening your breath! Then try it with them, and allow silliness and openness to guide you to a uniquely tailored collaborative practice. Now you're ready to practice some mindfulness tools with your little one! Keyword here is
practice, and let yourself take the time that's needed to get into the groove. Have more mindful practices to share with kids?