Today’s children face a great deal of stress – academic performance, heavy scheduling, high achievement standards, media messages, peer pressure, family tension. Without healthier solutions, they often cope by talking back, giving up, or indulging in unhealthy behaviors. We must prepare children to become healthy, happy, and productive.
Here are a few ideas for the parents and teachers to start a mindful chat:
1- Find your way:
We set some reference points for ourselves when we travel on an unfamiliar road or when we are walking in the woods. A building, a shop on the road; a rock or a specific tree in the woods… Life is also a way and sometimes we can feel lost in this life. Then, we may look for the reference points around us such as a family member, a friend, a lovely book, a relaxing activity, or a specific toy… You can discuss his/her reference points with your child.
2- About Not to Judge:
Picture pieces cut from the magazine are required for this chat. For instance, you may cut a face picture into pieces… nose, mouth, eyes, etc. Give each piece to a different child and ask them about their ideas. They will try to guess first, but realize that they do not have enough information to guess / judge. Likewise, we cannot judge people according to their appearance and behaviors.
3- Watch your Thoughts:
We need a bowl, some water, salt, and a teaspoon. The salt represents our words and the water in the bowl is another person. Poor the salt into the water and mix it with the teaspoon. In the same way, the words we say are taken into the person in front of us. We can say bad words when we argue with someone. Actually, we may not want to say these words, but we cannot take it back after saying just as we cannot remove salt from the water. Therefore, we must think about it before we say something.
For this subject, we need a glass jar and stones of different sizes. The glass jar represents a day and the stones are the activities we want to do in a day. The big stones are for more important and longer activities such as going to school while smaller stones are for less important or shorter activities such as playing games, tidying up room, etc. Now please put the stones into the jar. You will realize that not all the stones fit in the jar. Then how can we plan our day? It will be necessary to separate the important ones from the minor ones. Discuss with the kid for his/her plan and begin putting the stones by priority ranking.
5- I am Grateful for…
Gratitude means being thankful for what you have in your life. When you think about what you are grateful for, you will literally change your brain to think about things more positively in your life. Every night before your child goes to sleep, ask him/her three things that he/she is grateful for. Try this exercise for one week and see if he/she feels different. Your child will start to discover new things in his/her life that makes him/her happy.
As a conclusion, every parent’s dream is to raise children who lead happy lives free of physical pain, worries and emotional hurt. I hope you benefit from these mindful ways of talk and they work!