5 Tips for MW Parents.
by Amy Banegas
1. DISCONNECT TO CONNECT
Practice full presence with your child by disconnecting from all electronics. Work emails, text messages from family and friends can all wait. Unplug!
2. BE MINDFUL OF REACTIONS
Tempting as it is to get aggravated when your child spills juice or doesn’t do well on a test, pause and take a breath instead. Remind yourself: accidents happen. Nobody’s perfect. Step outside the moment and into a space where you can breathe and cool down.
3. ASK QUESTIONS
Take a moment in your day to ask your child engaging and open ended questions: How was school today? Really? What made the school day feel like that? How are your friends? What do you and your friends like to do at recess? Show with your questions that you’re interested in their day, their life and their feelings. Allow them to express themselves openly.
4. PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING
Welcome your child’s stories by being fully present. Smile. Make eye contact. Don’t interrupt when they stumble over their words or the story goes on and on. You don’t have to say much to show you’re listening. Children love to talk and tell stories. Share in the excitement. Embrace the moment.
5. PAUSE TO MAKE SENSE
The bustle of everyday life tends to consume most of our energy and time. We get caught up in the moment and lose sight of what can wait and what’s important in the moment. Carve out time with your children, whether for a game night, an afternoon walk, an hour of shooting hoops or baking goodies (all good for the soul). Connect through arts and crafts, watch movies together and, of course, make time for writing. Making time for them should be your biggest life priority.
Amy Banegas, program director at MW North, incorporates mindfulness when teaching writing to students.