Mindfulness has become a ‘buzz-word’ in our culture.
Mindfulness has become a ‘buzz-word’ in our culture. We’ve all heard that it’s a good thing to practice. But what does it actually mean?
The essence of mindfulness is being mindful and present to each moment. Sounds simple, but for busy parents it can often be a challenge to get out of our busy minds and into the present.
One of the simplest ways to learn about mindfulness is by observing young children. Present moment awareness is our natural state of being and children can be our best teachers.
Step One: Observe
Simply observe your kids next time you sit down for dinner, read them a story, or take them to a swimming lesson. Children often respond to the moment rather than the thoughts in their heads. For example, as a parent you may sit at the dinner table and be thinking about your busy day at work, while your child may be thoroughly enjoying the meal you’ve just prepared!
Step Two: Stop
Have you noticed how your child will often ‘stop to smell the flowers’? They will stop in mid-stride to notice a passing squirrel, pick up a coin on the sidewalk, or point out that a red car has just gone by. In our busy lives we can often miss these gifts, particularly if rushing to get to an appointment (or five!).
Step Three: Breathe
It may sound simplistic, but one of the best ways to come into the present moment is to remember to breathe. The breath can be a beautiful teacher in that it supports us in each moment, often without our awareness, and yet when we become conscious of it we immediately relax and feel more at peace.
And the best part about living mindfully as a parent? Being present to the moment will significantly and positively affect your children’s behaviour. They are your best teachers and you are theirs. What could be better than that?!