I always find myself telling DH that I want the girls to be happy and healthy. I go on and on and on about this…happy and healthy…must be a treat to hear:) The other day, I found myself pausing as I said those words AGAIN for the zillionth time. I still stick with the latter and work on bringing healthy food to the table, introduce the girls to new textures, smells and tastes. When it comes to the former, I think I will stick with being MINDFUL, rather than being HAPPY all the time. Happiness is as fleeting as pain, suffering. But being mindful will pull us through all those times of being happy, sad, lonely, angry, you name it. How can I make the girls MINDFUL of themselves, their surroundings, of others around them?
Here are some wonderful finds from the internet, many from mothers like me who find themselves posed with the same concerns.
1. Making a peace basket
Chasing Cheerios inspired me to make a similar basket for my girls.
The peace basket will help the girls awaken their five senses, pause to absorb and reflect on their surroundings. However difficult the previous night could have been, the peace basket will immediately help the girls cherish what we have at ‘present’ and avoid unnecessary distractions. I have tried using it during meltdowns and early in the morning and it has worked wonders so far.
2. Being mindful when we eat/ how we eat
I am struggling with this one, because the girls feel the need to be entertained while eating. However, I have avoided switching on the televison altogether, no toys at the table, no grazing through the day and food is served only during ‘meal times’. I have also attempted to introduce new foods, food that the whole family can enjoy together and it has been a work in progress.
In future, I would like the girls to learn how to prep for a meal, set up a table, clean up after their mess.
3. Mindful of needs and wants
I hate to hoard/accumulate. How many of us can afford to buy enough clothes/valuables that fit into a walk – in closet. Hell no! Firstly, I did not have a walk-in closet while growing up and not many of us do, even now. So, I came up with a plan (DH, I hope you are reading this because it is for you:)) My husband loves to shop. Shop for shirts, sweaters, trousers…you name it. To put an end to it, I told him that whatever fits into a bin (yes a bin) is all you have. The rest goes. The rest goes to charity. The same rule applies to all of us and for everything including toys. Teach Preschool explored the concept of more or less in this post.
In future, I hope to ask the girls the following questions:
1. Do you really want this? If so, why?
2. Do you have room for this? Can you give something away to make room for this?
4. Mindful of people and their actions
I read that children read faces first before they actually learn the language we speak. It makes so much sense. When I meet someone new, I am shy. But the moment they smile at me, the ice is broken and we get talking. This is a great book for developing and embracing the emotional vocabulary we have.
The girls love this book. Over the years, I hope to teach the girls that it is alright to experience all these feelings and that each of us will respond differently to different situations.