Practicing mindfulness has been a really great tool in helping me connect with my little ones and understand what they are trying to communicate – even when they aren’t using words.
When we are practicing mindfulness we are:
- in the present
- focusing on our child
- waiting for our child to make a connection with us
- acknowledging how they feel
- responding with love and understanding
When we respond to our little ones in this way they feel respected, loved and engaged in our interaction. And what we know is that when our child is engaged they are learning.
This has been really relevant in our household this week as Ella has started her first week at Kindy. We all survived, although I must admit we got off to a bit of a shaky start. I was prepared for Ella’s ‘don’t leave me’ monkey grip but not as prepared for my own feelings as I sat down at my desk at work, nor was I for Chloe’s reaction to missing her favourite play mate.
I have found this article from Zero to Three about mindfulness for parents really helpful. The COAL strategy resonates with me and has certainly helped when Ella is finding it hard to manage all her feeling when totally exhausted from the Kindy day.