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Mindfulness and Children. Truly being where you are, and not somewhere else, is extremely powerful.

Updated on February 18, 2013

Can you just stop being a coward long enough to accept their world where you are not king?

This much older sister just goes away from my world and hangs out in her little brother's world. They share perspectives and garner new understanding from being together and fully involved with each other. This big sister with her fancy degrees, just decided that nothing would be as rewarding as being a nanny. She lives in the moment. With his dad he has, his time and my time. He learns from me about my world and I learn from him about his. Not every second of every day needs to be a learning moment. Not everything we do wrong needs to be corrected. The beauty of each other is more than enough for certain times spent together.

Hand holding, not as protection but togetherness

I used to have to be told. Now I just know when to sit down, shut up and enjoy the show.
I used to have to be told. Now I just know when to sit down, shut up and enjoy the show. | Source

a child's time

Mindfulness and Children

The concept of mindfulness is just becoming well recognized in Neuro Science and Psycology. But the Ideas have been around for literally thousands of years. Ancient texts from the Bible to Buddhism, instruct followers to pay all their attention on things, from God to children. It is in meditating on the good things that the bad falls away. I of course to not refer to just any thing. I refer to things of beauty. Flowers, animals, music, poetry, exercise come to mind. But by far the greatest of these are Children. This is a wonderful article published back in '07 by Rick Naurert PHD: http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/06/22/the-science-of-mindfulness-meditation/910.html I somehow learned a long time ago that when I am with children, to be nowhere else. A mindfulness of just being in the moment. A break from the crazy stressful world. A switch from being interrupted by children to letting nothing interrupt being with the children. Breathing deep and not having expectations is huge. A turning off of ringers and bells and whistles unless they are the children’s. This notion and practice changes everything. Children do not behave like adults. Does that make their behavior bad? I do not see it that way.

Some may even say, “but what about in public, especially restaurants”. I love my kids at restaurants. I do not take them to high fluting razzmatazz joints. We go where children are welcome and I pack some extra extra tip money. There is always time for instruction and discipline. But that is my time. When it is their time it is their choice and their rules. It never fails to be reciprocal even as young as two. If I give them their time and respect it and enjoy it. They learn to give me my time and respect it and enjoy it. Crossing a street. Car time. And check out lines are Dad’s time. Anything dangerous is Dad’s rules. But messes, and dirty and playing ball and doing puzzles and running and jumping and reading and drawing are their time and I just breathe deep, change my focus, relax and enjoy them.

Trying to be all things to all people is really not that hard, if you do not try to be all things to all people all the time. In my experience children, like adults like boundaries as long as they are fairly drawn and attention and energies are also divided fairly. When a child sees you put all of your attention to them and disregard interruptions to make it their time, they will allow you the same courtesy, and respect your time.

Remember this does not happen overnight and shooting for a reasonable success rate is much more realistic than perfection. In fact recognizing failures and triumphs and setting them aside is critical to mindfulness

The other side of this notion is the notion of alone time. Two people or more should not spend every waking hour in each others' face, it just is not natural or healthy. Just like an adult, children need some time alone to develop their own mindfulness, creativity and critical thinking. I found this article very helpful on the matter: http://www.redbookmag.com/kids-family/advice/give-yourself-a-break

More to it than just above

The me time and self exploration time does not need guidance but it benefits greatly from showing something to the newly initiated. That include me when he gets a complicated toy from grandma or him when I show him how a hose works. Once we see we need time to explore by ourselves. This leads to a need to "report back" and our communication and interaction blossoms into a thing of beauty.

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