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  • Kerri Cummings

I’ve Taught my Kids Mindfulness. And They Get It. (Haven't they?)

(Note: In case you weren't able to notice, this post is tongue in cheek, meant to be an entertaining parody on mindful parenting)

Mindfulness is so important. I tell this to my three children every morning before they go to school. I cannot emphasize it enough, how important mindfulness is to living a fulfilled, happy life, I tell them. I’m pretty much a mindfulness expert. I have a mindfulness blog, and I do academic research about mindfulness and the effects on the brain. Like, neurological effects and stuff. I also teach yoga and meditate. I teach my kids yoga and meditation too. It’s just SO important. My kids are all over the place, you know? But they get it. They have really taken to being mindful in all aspects of life.

I mean, my 9-year old son, for example, just recently told me to breathe, as I was about to totally freak out about this old granny driving like a fa-REAKING snail in front of me. Ok, she was actually driving the speed limit but—hey—I was late. Ok I was on time, but I just really like driving fast. Is that a sin? I mean, seriously, granny, get off the road if you can’t keep up! So, anyway, my son said, “Mommy, breathe in and out three times.” Bless his heart. I’ve taught him so well.

We also say “grace” before eating dinner. We all hold hands, and say our grace. I teach my kids to be grateful for everything they have. Please try to focus on the positive, I tell them. When my 11-year old daughter whines incessantly about certain things (read: everything), I tell her, “Now, let’s focus our attention on the good things, dear.“ She listens quietly. And she really gets it, I’m telling you. It’s so sweet. For instance, the other day when I was deliberating to myself about how everyone is so damn inconsiderate, and how I hate the weather in this city, and the sun NEVER shines. I mean, honestly, it is like dark and gloomy 90% of the time! What, did I die and go to the freakin’ Medieval times? Honestly, now I know why the season is called “Fall”. It’s like, FALL off the edge of a tall building, if you know what I mean. Jeez. And, by the way, I HATE my small kitchen. I mean, it’s like I went back in time to when I was a poor student. I can’t even boil noodles in one of the two IKEA pots I have.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, and well, basically I was talking about how everything just sucks pretty much, and my dear daughter told me, “Mom, think positive! When it rains at least the flowers grow!” I’m telling you, these kids totally get it. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be a good role model in mindfulness.

Even my sweet little 5-year old is catching on. The other morning he was going back and forth about wanting to bring his stuffed animals to kindergarten. I explained to him (in a mindful way, mind you) that I understand he feels sad about it, but he can only bring toys and stuffed animals to Kindergarten on Thursdays. That’s the rule. He didn’t like it one bit. He just kept insisting. I was trying to get my other son to school on time and this guy was totally screwing everything up. He starts talking about how I’m the worst mommy ever, and he’s going to jump in front of a car. So I reminded myself to be mindful, pay attention to my sensations in my body. (You know, my heart beating faster, my breathing getting shorter.) I simply observed the thoughts in my head. You know, thoughts, like “I’m going to sell this kid to the church if he doesn’t just get his damn shoes on and come with us!” Or, thoughts like, “What the hell is wrong with this kid? Does he not understand English?” So I’m standing there being mindful and all, and my son continues badgering me about bringing these dust-collectors to Kindergarten.

Now he’s trying to negotiate. “Ok, Mommy, how about I take them to kindergarten but I leave them in my cubby hole?” I’m over here thinking, “How about I buy a cubby hole at home and put YOU in it?!” But as a mindful person, I let those thoughts come and go. (I won’t really stuff him in a cubby hole) Now, pretty soon, my other son is going to be dangerously late for school. So, while I’m mindfully noticing my thoughts and feelings, my 5-year old has now thrown his shoes in the corner of the room and announced he has to “poop”. It is so important to stay mindful in the heat of the moment, you know? I told him, “Son, you’re going to have to hold your poop ‘cause we’re late now!” He started to cry. Then I reminded him to breathe, stay mindful. It really does help. He starts to breathe deeply (ok, it might have actually been sobbing, but who’s taking notes?). I was SO proud of him. Meanwhile I’m grabbing his shoes, pulling my howling son to the car in his socks while I half-curse the ground he walks on. But him? Nah. He has learned to hold his poop. The only way I can possibly fathom him being able to do that is through mindfulness. I mean, I sure couldn’t hold it that long. Bless his heart. So as you can see, my mindfulness practice has REALLY helped my children, I think. It is such an essential part of my parenting practice. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go meditate before my kids get home.

If you felt entertained by this post, let me know! I felt like lightening up my content for a change. I hope you enjoyed it. Post comments and subscribe for more content (videos, etc.) especially for subscribers!

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