We have a great number of things that we need to teach our children. They need to learn to read, write and calculate. They have to learn manners, socialization skills and self-help skills. We want them to learn about being part of a family, carrying on traditions and paving their path in the world. We have an endless list of things to teach them. One thing that I wish I learned as a child and I hope to teach other children is to just be.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned the skills that help to ground me, calm my anxiety and help me to live in the moment. I learned to take deep breaths, feel the chair under me, close my eyes and listen to the sounds around me. Then open your eyes and notice the smells, feelings and colors of things in the room. We do teach children to breathe deeply to calm their crying. We tell them to close their eyes and listen when we want them to identify a sound. Rarely, do we ask them to breathe deeply, close their eyes and listen in order to just be.
Before the summer comes to a close, I hope you will take time to teach your children to just be. Put down the electronics. Turn off the TV. Sit on a bench in the park and talk about the things you see and hear. Go to the beach to watch and hear the waves roll in. Sit in your living room and practice relaxing together.
If you teach young children, try to use relaxation techniques more often than just when the children are upset. Circle time is a perfect time to just be. Young children don’t really care what day of the week it is so spend less time on that and more time learning to notice today. Help them to relax and notice what they see, who they are with and what sounds they hear. Paying attention to the things stimulating our senses helps us to be in the present. Perhaps if we can teach young children how to “just be” in the present, they will be better able to deal with anxiety in the future.
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Copyright 2013 © Cindy Terebush
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