It’s becoming pretty mainstream to practice some form of mindfulness nowadays. Even within our schools, meditation or focus time is replacing the traditional standards of detention or lines in some states and provinces. There is a growing understanding that mindfulness and calm create better mental health and prepares our children to deal with the chaos and turmoil our world can often offer.
But how do we create a solid foundation in mindfulness for our children… not just the act of it?
I mean, it’s a wonderful step in the right direction to get children to sit quietly and listen to a guided meditation, or to focus on their breathing but how do we build the awareness for each child so they can appreciate the actual purpose for doing so?
It’s a bit like teaching a child how to do math, but not actually helping them understand the reason why they need it or when to apply it within life.
It could also be seen as the philosophy of giving a child a fish to feed them for a day… giving them calm for a moment so their day is successful.
“When we have the ability to teach them how to fish and feed them for a lifetime, our children can be the generation to use mindfulness and conscious living as daily and lifetime tools for happiness.”
I can feel you call me an idealist, but honestly, I feel there’s one small shift in how we present mindfulness that will make all the difference.
WE JUST NEED TO PASS ON SELF AWARENESS FIRST
Self-awareness gives us the navigation skills to sense when we need meditation when we need positive focus when we could do with quiet or when we would be best to dance out our stresses. Self-awareness works alongside mindfulness to create presence and conscious living, allowing ourselves to sense when we are starting to get stressed or upset by observing rather than reacting.
Imagine when you were a child having the tools to sense when you could do with some quiet time rather than being “told” you need it. Imagine feeling that stress within you to the point of exploding and being able to find your breath and shift to feeling better. How would that have prepared you for the rest of your life?
Sure, maybe I am an idealist. We all have off days and we can all jump off the awareness train when life gets busy. I called my own business Spiritually Aware Parenting for the reason that even when we’re off, even when we’re stressed, even when we aren’t thriving, we’re aware of the fact that mindfulness can be a tool to help us get back on.
“We’re aware of our own offness when we practice Self Awareness and self-knowledge for a little while, which makes hoping back On all the easier.”
SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
HOW DO WE PASS ON SELF AWARENESS TO OUR CHILDREN AS A FOUNDATION FOR MINDFUL LIVING?
Practice it yourself. Examples are key within Spiritual/peaceful parenting. Verbally say you are going to get quiet to “feel more like yourself” when you start to get stressed. Journal, create energy focuses with music, find your joy and follow your bliss. Become aware of Who You Are and How to Step into Your Light.
Talk about emotions and preferences. Ask for your child’s opinions and listen to them. Opinions and preferences are extensions of perspectives and perspectives are extensions of self-expression, which comes from self-awareness.
Open up to a range of experiences and discuss how they feel. Go on nature walks and simply Be. Watch calming movies/shows after watching something faster or louder. Do something that makes you feel excited or exhilarated and compare it to cuddling together reading a book. Contrast builds awareness of how we feel and what we resonate with.
Create and explore curiosity. It’s easy to brush aside a child’s questions during the day, but breaking rhythms and exploring with them opens life up and allows you both to grow and learn.
Quiet bedtimes. Consider bringing bedtime 30- 45 minutes forward so you can create it as mindfulness time without calling it that. Make it your own time for presence as well as your child’s. Let the energy of the house shift, slowing down and unwinding from the day. Read happy stories and listen to your child’s. Allow the energy and peace flow through your home moment by moment and watch as your child adapts to it, becoming aware of how things change in feeling and how it affects them.
Self/Spiritual awareness is about presenting opportunities to feel, observe ourselves, and experience life. It’s about Aha moments. It’s about thriving rather than surviving.
Christina Fletcher is a Spiritually Aware Parent Coach and Energy Healer, who has homeschooled her children for the past 13 years.
Her passion is to help parents find balance and authentic connection within their homes, using practical spiritual tools, mindfulness, positive mindset and Inner work. Through this current global situation, Christina is dedicated to helping mothers and fathers create a home space of laughter, light and connection throughout the stress, so their children remain emotionally stable and family relationships thrive together.