July 23, 2014

Mindful Parent, Mindful Child. ~ Valerie Johns

Photo: Roland Tanglao via Flickr

Mindful games for parent and child.

Here are a couple of sweet, easy exercises to bring mindfulness into parenting with your child engaged in the process. Do them often and imperfectly. Try them for a minute or two, with low expectations as little people don’t have the same mature brain as we are supposed to have.

#1:  Mindful Gazing and Breathing.

Sit crossed legged, knee to knee with your child.  

Read this aloud the first few times, until you learn how to play.

“Open your eyes and look at me when you want to
And close your eyes when you feel like it.
If my eyes are open, just look into my eyes while I look into yours and let’s breathe together.
We can close our eyes whenever we feel like it, we don’t have to do it at the same time.

“We can gaze and we can close our eyes any time,  just no talking
As we breathe together.
I breathe in, you breathe in
Breathe in a way that is natural for you
You don’t have to breathe the same as I do.
We will talk with our eyes…
Let’s do this for a few minutes and see how we like it.”

#2  Mindful Walking with my Parent.

“My parent walks behind me
I walk in front
I feel my feet on the floor, on the earth.
We go on our heel, bend the foot, push off with our toes
Pick up our other foot and swing it forward…
Place our foot, heel first, bend our foot, push off with our toes
As we swing our other foot…

We feel the air around our skin
We see the light and shadows

We are in walking meditation.
We can stop for a moment and close our eyes
and listen to our world
and then we can walk a little more.  Heel first…
Feeling the air more, listening for sounds

Always aware of our gentle footsteps,
Our toes giving the world a kiss with every step

We live in our bodies
We take good care of our bodies
We live in our world
We take good care of our world
We love each other
We take good care of each other…with respect and kind words
With listening
Trying to understand
And be understood

We take another step
And then
We take another step.
Then, we turn around and go the other way.
More noticing the air
The sound of our footsteps
The light and the shadows
We notice the thoughts that run around our minds
We watch our thoughts and smile at them
Like the light and shadow, we do not judge them, we just notice

Then, we turn the other way
And walk some more.”


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Apprentice Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Roland Tanglao via Flickr

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Valerie Johns