Mindful Children

Written by NPN Guest on June 13th, 2011

Edited by Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife

Activism, Balance, Gentle Discipline, Natural Learning
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mind [mahynd] – verb (without object)

  1. to be in a state of awareness;
  2. to take notice, observe, or understand;
  3. to care or feel concern.

On a beautiful Sunday adventure with my daughters, we are at a stop light, where a homeless lady stands. The light turns green and we roll up to her and give her some snacks we had with us.

By all accounts, it was a rolling stop. And the lady behind us honks! My girls are taken aback and do not understand why this lady would honk at me when I was doing a “good deed”.

For the next three stop lights, this lady guns it at the green and we pull up next to her at the red again. I ask my girls, “Should I get out and talk with her?”

“But why, mommy?” they ask, clearly concerned for my safety.

“She must need a friend,” I suggest.

We talk about the homeless lady, the food we gave her, and where she might sleep tonight. We talk about the lady that honked at us, where she must be going in such a hurry, and all that stress and nothing gained.

Same day, five minutes later: We are discussing lunch. We are hot, hungry, and probably a little tired too. My girls were debating, and eventually crying, over mac n’ cheese at Panera Bread versus Boston Market.

I am not upset; I do raise my voice. I simply state, “I am sad that we just gave food to a homeless lady, we are blessed to have the option to go out to eat, and we are crying over mac n’ cheese.” No more words were spoken. We drove home in mindfulness.

Dad had lunch ready for us when we got home. The girls shared the story of the homeless lady and the honker lady, and laughed as they told dad that they were crying over mac n’ cheese.

The point of this story is that in less than 10 minutes, there were several opportunities to teach my children to mind:

  • the awareness of the homeless and hungry
  • the art of giving
  • the stress of rushing
  • the heart of gratitude

In everything we do and say, we teach our children to mind or not mind. What does your child’s mindfulness say about you? As we raise our mindfulness, we raise mindful children.

If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves. ~C.G. Jung, 1939

Photo Credit: Author

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Michelle is a Life Entrepreneur: wife, mother of 3, triathlete, and advocate of life, love, and learning. On the side, she is a business owner, volunteer, and holds a Master of Social Work. She writes about conscious parenting and simplified living at My Child’s Gardener.

This post has been edited from a previous version published at My Child’s Gardener.

4 Responses to Mindful Children

  1. Charise@I Thought I Knew Mama  

    What a beautiful anecdote and reminder to practice mindfulness!

  2. Amy  

    Beautiful, Michelle, and thank you for editing Hippie Housewife. :)

    There are so many opportunities for awareness with children; they are great waker-uppers.

  3. Deborah

    Thank you Michelle, I find myself now watching for a homeless woman so I too can share with her. But I also find myself checking my impatience and questioning how your children would feel about my attitude. So you are really truly conscious parenting.

  4. Jessica Lang @ Cloth Diapering Mama  

    Love this…thanks for sharing such a beautiful family experience.

    My son is very mindful of the environment and how to be kind to it…but I think I need to work on his humanitarianism, too, when I see an opportunity.

    thank you!

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