Will you please just be quiet for one minute?

Growing up in a home with seven other folks I can’t tell you the number of times I was kindly asked to bring it down just a bit.  But today’s parenting tip is not about strategies to deal with a young ‘Chatty Kathy’ like myself —Perhaps it will be addressed another time in the future though because according to my siblings, “It can be an issue!”

Today’s recommendation refers to the importance of setting up the specific and powerful family practice of pausing.  (Remember, the best parenting takes place when you set up conditions and procedures with purpose rather than by limiting your discipline to reactive practices.)

Every great day starts off using the ‘Power of Pausing,’ otherwise known as meditation or simply quiet-time. The power of teaching young ones to stop and listen cannot be overemphasized. Given the direct and constant access children have to audio and visual technology, it’s more important today than ever before.

 “Why teach the practice of pausing/meditation to my children?”

Research shows that it can reduce symptoms of anxiety and promote better decision making. It can also reduce symptoms of ADHD.  It can decrease tendencies for violence, improve self-esteem, and improve the parent-child relationship, BONUS! (to name a few) We want to teach children to listen and hear the sounds of their surroundings, listen to the dreams that lie deep within the heart, and most importantly, listen and learn to recognize the loving guidance that dwells within.

 “When is the best time to begin the practice of pausing/meditation?”

How about NOW!  It is never too early or too late to teach this delightful practice.

“How do I start teaching pausing/meditation to my toddler/teen?”

 Here are a few tips from the Chopra Center to get you started:

  1. Model meditation by just sitting quietly.
  2. Keep it short and simple for starters: one minute.
  3. Incorporate breathing exercises, yoga or singing.
  4. Get creative!
  5. *READ books and check out web sites for more ideas. See Below

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A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles, 2008 Thich Nhat Hanh

Sitting Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents), 2013 Eline Snel

Peaceful Piggy Meditation (Albert Whitman Prairie Books), 2004 Kerry Lee Maclean and Kerry Maclean

The Mindful Teen:  Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time, 2015

Dung X. VoMD FAAP

The Chopra Center is happy to announce their first guided meditation app for kids age 8-12, My Light Shines Bright. This new app features 22 guided meditations to build confidence, encourage good sleep, creativity, and deep connection. www.chopra.com/ccl/how-to-get-kids-to-meditate

About the author

Kate Martin has been a high school teacher for 27 years and retired from the Racine Unified School District in 2015. 

She taught students with special needs as well as those in general education. While working with hundreds of parents over the years, she discovered that there was a significant lack of resources and educational opportunities to help them navigate the many demands of parenting today. For this reason, in 2013 she founded The Purposeful Parent, offering workshops and resources for parents, teachers, and caregivers.

Buy the Book by Kate Martin: The Best Thoughts To Think Five minutes Before

If you have ever thought about using cloth diapers for your baby, RG Natural Babies is hosting a class. Click here for details.

The Purposeful Parent: The Art Of Yelling

 

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.