Giving your child (and yourself) the gift of your presence

When we want to cultivate more mindfulness in our lives, our children can be our greatest allies.

Mindfulness is a natural state for children and they are constantly inviting us, their parents, to join them in this state.

Unfortunately, we seldom do.

We might spend a lot of time in the physical presence of our kids, going through our days, caring and playing with them, but how often are we actually fully  ‘there’ with them?

So often we go through the motions, but mentally, we are off somewhere in the future or the past.

But what if we took a moment to be fully present with our children? What if we could see this as an opportunity to give ourselves some mental space, connect to the present moment, and build our mindfulness muscle?

This could possibly be one of the most transformative things you do not only for yourself, but for your children as well.

-          Make a commitment to set aside 5 – 10 minutes every day to practice being mindfully present with your children.

-          It does not matter what you are doing, whether you are playing with your child, chatting, cuddling, as long as you stay ‘with them’ in the present moment.

-          During this time, put away/switch off all distractions (phone, TV, tablet) and be fully present.

-          Accept the moment and your children as they are, not judging or wanting to change anything.

-          Notice when your mind wanders off (which it will!) e.g. “What will I cook tonight?”, “I should remember to phone the dentist” etc. and just gently bring it back to the present moment with your kids.

You might think that 5 – 10 mins will not make a significant impact on you and your children. But that is enough to make you feel more grounded, and fill up their emotional cups (children immediately know when we are present), making them feel loved, secure and ‘seen’ by you.