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February 10, 2013

Teaching Mindfulness

Teaching Mindfulness to Children | Spending 1-on-1 timePost Contributed by: Amy Svensson, M.A., CCC-SLP

Wow! Where does the time go? My youngest child starts kindergarten in the fall. I just received the reminder about Kindergarten Registration coming up next month!! I will soon have to stand in line with paperwork in hand to get him all set for the next big chapter.  How did that happen?  Like most parents, I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday.  I remember the sleepless nights, reflux, his coos and sweet babbles so clearly.  I admit, often times the days have felt super long juggling and multi-tasking since my husband and I also have an 8 year old.  I catch myself asking, “Am I savoring the littlest of moments with all that is going on around me?  Am I giving youngest my undivided attention when he and I are together 1:1?”

As much as I know I am doing the best I can each and every day, I know I can be even more mindful to live in the moment.  I want to ‘be in the now’ with my soon-to-be-kindergartner!   I want to ‘be in the now’ as much as possible of course.

I have been making sure 2013 involves an outing/activity each week for my son and I that we do just the two of us.  No phones allowed.  I am disconnected.  I research and find different things to do each week.  I wanted to share some of the things my son and I have already done and also things on our list to do where we can JUST BE and BE TOGETHER:

  1. Lucas and I spent 3 hours one quiet morning painting pottery at Mudhouse Pottery Painting located in Issaquah, WA.  We each picked out a piece to paint.  Lucas created and painted with no influence from me.  It was 100% his project.  I painted a bowl.  On the bottom it reads, “Lucas & Mommy 1.7.13.” We chatted, laughed, and I got many kisses and “I love you Moms.”
  2. Preschool story time at our local library.  We cozy together and listen to the stories the librarian reads.  Afterwards, Lucas checks out books with his own library card.
  3. We love our 12-year old dog and he goes everywhere with us.  We discovered dogs are allowed at Issaquah Coffee House in Gilman Village.  We brought a puzzle from home and enjoyed 2-hours of quality time all while Louie rested at our feet.
  4. Sledding and hot cocoa
  5. Finding a cozy spot to work on little love notes to those we care  about who live near and far
  6. Bowling – so fun!!
  7. There are numerous hiking trails we want to try
  8. Lucas and I declare one day per month during our rainy/cold season “Mommy and Lucas PJ day.”  We stay in our PJs all day, watch movies, do ‘reverse dessert’ at lunchtime, have popcorn for snack and do a craft.
  9. There are SO many museums for us to try!!!
  10. We plan to take a kids/parent cooking class together
  11. Try playgrounds we have never been to before
  12. Baking a new yummy recipe together

I know very well that the foundation for communication between mother/child starts very very early.  It is my hope that as both my children grow and find themselves in a variety of relationships throughout their lives that they will remember our fun 1:1 times together and  fall back on what it means to truly be connected and in the moment with another person.  I am confident they will have a firm understanding of  the importance of being a great communication partner which includes being a good listener and giving their undivided attention. It is a gift I give them today that I hope they will use each and every day as they pave their own paths in life.  ~ Amy Svensson


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