School is back in session and with that comes lots of firsts, lots of changes, and lots of new emotions for our children. New teacher, new room, new rules, new expectations. Even as adults, starting a new job comes with lots of new thoughts, some positive and some riddled with worry.
This time of growth and change is a GREAT time to help our children (and ourselves) build our toolbox of relaxation and coping skills! Working together on our social and emotional skill sets shines a light on the positives and lessons of each moment rather than fears of the “what if”.
ABC Mindful Me By: Christiane Engel
This is a wonderful book and teaching tool for us as parents (and as people!) Each letter in the Alphabet highlights an aspect of Mindfulness, and the book gives an easy to understand definition of Mindfulness at the beginning and end. Each page gives one important way to practice mindfulness throughout the day. You could even read a page a morning (or week) and reflect on how you will use that concept in your household!
For example, A is for Awareness. In kid speak: PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR WORLD and all that is BEAUTIFUL in it!
Activity for Children: For little ones pick a shape of the day. Then, go on a walk around the house, the neighborhood, etc. and try to notice anything that is shaped like a circle. If your child can touch it have them trace the circle with their fingers. This can be done for shapes, colors, animals, textures, you name it! You are not only teaching your child an academic skill, but most importantly you are teaching them to be OBSERVERS and forming mental relationships and categories. Furthermore, they are learning to be IN THE MOMENT, fully present in their environment…and their learning!
Activity for Adults: Monkey See, Monkey Do! Take a walk, either by yourself or with your family, and put your phone away where it is just slightly inconvenient to get out. (ex: I put mine in the zip compartment in the bottom of my stroller so I am less likely to take it out.) Next, pick a focus visual, tactile, or auditory. For example, how does your foot feel when you place it on the ground? What sounds are around you? Are the leaves moving today in the breeze?
Our children view our behavior as model behavior…modeling being present in the moment is such a gift to them in so many ways.
The book highlights: breath, kindness, compassion, feelings, energy, gratitude, and so much more!
Thank you for reading!