About Susan Verde

Susan grew up in the heart of Greenwich Village in NYC. As a kid she kept a piece of chalk in her pocket (for spontaneous hopscotch) and her skate key around her neck, ready for the next adventure. She found inspiration everywhere and loved to write all about it! Now Susan lives by the sea in East Hampton, New York with her 3 children and their dog, Gizmo. She still finds inspiration everywhere and writes it all down! In addition to writing books for kids she also teaches yoga and mindfulness to children of all ages.

How to Help Your Child Be Mindful Every Day

This word mindfulness used so much these days that its meaning is often lost or confused. It is something we find ourselves saying in place of other phrases that are more specific like “be careful” or “be thoughtful.”  When we hear the word by itself or attached to meditation it can seem esoteric and unattainable, but if you consider the definition of mindfulness, it is simple. I have a favorite from Dr. Amy Salztman, who says, “Mindfulness is paying attention to your life, here and now, with kindness and curiosity.” It’s not about being calm or careful or getting your mind to stop thinking or experiencing emotion. It’s not about being perfect and well-behaved in every situation. Mindfulness is presence; it’s cultivating an ability to notice our experience without judgment and by doing so we give ourselves the room to choose our responses. It is something EVERY one of us has experienced unintentionally and it’s something EVERY one of us can practice with intention at any given moment. Even kids. If you don’t believe me ask yourself this: Have you ever had an interaction with your child or loved one where it was all about your experience together?  No phone, no distraction just the two of you? Have you ever watched the clouds roll by, looked at the moon, savored a mouthful of something delicious, played a sport and been “in the zone”, taken a deep belly breath when you are feeling a moment of stress to gather your thoughts? If you said “Yes” to any of these, you have already practiced mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation expert Sharon Salzberg says, “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” Each moment in our lives presents us with the opportunity to practice mindfulness. Here are a few ways we can “remember to do it.” All of these can be done with kids as well, to help them learn to practice non-judgmental awareness and build their self-care skills in everyday situations. Breathe Reminding yourself to take a deep inhalation and slow exhalation through your nose can not only calm your nervous system, but also give you a moment to stop and notice how you feel and choose how to proceed with kindness and compassion, whether that is toward yourself or others.  Try this exercise with your kids, too: place your hands on your belly and inhale to feel it fill with air. Then as you exhale, follow your breath all the way to the end. This lengthening of your exhale not only creates a relaxation response in your body but also puts your mind in one place, allowing you to quiet the chatter or hit pause on your mental to-do list. Use your Senses We have so many opportunities to taste, smell, hear, touch, and see. Often, we drink and eat so quickly that we don’t even know what we’ve tasted. We rush through our meals and treat them as just another chore. Try really paying attention to your food.

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How to Help Your Child Be Mindful Every Day 2019-03-14T14:45:43-04:00