As you may have noticed in dealing with children – be it your own kids, students, or clients – the age-old adage that actions speak louder than words still holds true. Looking at this upcoming generation of youth, many of us have voiced a concern and a desire to see “these kids today” act more mindfully. That is to say, we wish they would possess a longer attention span, see the virtue in delayed gratification, display self-control, be less reactive, and be more thoughtful in their responses and behaviors. We may be saying and thinking these things from the lofty position of adulthood without necessarily recognizing our role in helping children develop the mindful mindset we desire for them.
We must become mindful models and mentors for children. If we are screaming at our kids to “BREATHE!!! AND BE STILL!!” from a place of frustration, or exasperation, it is less effective than actually taking a breath ourselves and becoming still, present, and aware in our interactions. I understand how difficult a task this may prove to be – especially in the midst of whining or tantruming children! This is why mindfulness is a practice and not a destination. Beginning a simple daily mindfulness practice on your own during calm times (perhaps in the shower or before the kids wake up) will make it easier and more natural for you to respond from a place of peaceful presence when presented with less peaceful circumstances.
When children experience adults in this new way and witness us taking time-outs to breathe and responding rather than reacting, my hope is that they will learn to do the same. The change starts with you and me because we’re the ones children look to for guidance on how to be in this world. Let’s be mindful models and create a more present, peaceful, mindful generation.
Written by Stephanie Trueblood, LPC-Intern
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Here you will find articles contributed by members of our team. We hope to provide helpful information here to inspire mindful living and general wellness. The information provided here is not a substitue for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need to speak to a professional regarding your mental health, please make an appointment.