Being a parent doubles your reasons for being mindful because living in the moment benefits you and your children. As you increase your own peace of mind, you’re becoming a stronger role model for the rest of your family. Your children will feel more secure and may be less likely to engage in risky behavior
This is even more true for our families when our children are home with us more in the summer months. It’s easy to turn to the television or IPad to fill our extra time, but if we do this in place of quality time we are missing out.
What are we missing out on?
Building trust and stronger bonds for emotional health
Exemplifying our families values for better spiritual health
Challenging each others ideas to build mental health
Moving our bodies together for lifelong physical health
Mindfulness is a way of life. Look for opportunities throughout your day to let go of expectations and make conscious choices. Try these practical tips for living in the present moment and improving the health (mind & body) of the whole family.
It may be the one we don’t want to hear, but it’s important to set limits on TV and computer time in the summer when we don’t have to use technology for schoolwork. In addition, turn off all devices at least an hour before bedtime to promote more restful sleep.
Encourage family members to explore their interests and. As a parent, offer to try out a hobby that interests your child that perhaps you wouldn’t normally participate in. Hobbies can help to reduce stress, express creativity, and gain confidence.
Mindfulness and generosity reinforce each other as you experience the joys of giving. Volunteer as a family at a local animal shelter or food kitchen. Praise your child when they carry groceries for a neighbor or lend a hand to a friend. Behaviors that are encouraged will be repeated.
Make family meals a regular habit. Sit down for breakfast each morning or designate at least a few nights when everyone has dinner at the same time. We designate a night each week for “kid cooking” where one of the children makes the menu, grocery list, shops, and cooks for the family. The rest of the family pitches in to clean up after. Even the flops have been fun!
Create Morning Rituals
Start the day by sharing a practice that reminds you to stay mindful. Take a walk around the block together, contribute to a gratitude journal, or do a devotional. It doesn’t have to take a long time either. Just a few moments will set the tone for the rest of the day.
Seated meditation isn’t the only way to practice mindfulness, but it is one of the most powerful tools. Again, it doesn’t have to be a long time or be complicated - 2 minutes is all it takes. We use an app at our house called Stop, Breathe, Think for Kids that has guided meditations and breath work that helps de-stress and focus on positivity.
Make mindfulness fun! Draw pictures, listen to music, dance in the kitchen, put on a puppet show, dress up in costumes, learn a new card game, or simply play a board game. The joy and laughter that results is the best way to keep everyone in the house mindful of the moment.
Mindfulness is one of the most valuable gifts you can pass on to your children. Help your family members to awaken to their potential and experience more peace and happiness. These simple ideas will give your child a head start on developing mindful habits that will enrich their life and relationships in the future.
A bonus . . . the summer will be much more fun and enjoyable for parents as well!
Be sure to follow up on Facebook to see what we are up to this summer and tag us in your “mindful” activities (@peakpotentialpt on Instagram as well).