How many times have your children’s emotions interrupted their ability to communicate with you? If you’re like most parents, it’s happening almost every time. Even when you’re speaking to them calmly, they may react as though you’re yelling at them. They simply aren’t in the moment. They don’t realize what the reality is, so they aren’t able to react to what is really happening.
Children (and their parents) can greatly benefit from mindfulness, especially when it comes to communication. Before it’s possible to understand the benefits of it though, you should know exactly what it is.
What Is Mindfulness Communication
Mindfulness communication is using the principles of mindfulness when communicating with people. The principles of mindfulness include being:
- Fully Present
- Able to Relate to Others
In essence, mindfulness brings about a greater level of awareness when listening and speaking.
As you can imagine, when people are able to listen coming from a place of understanding and openness, they are able to respond to what is being said not unwarranted thoughts.
How Children Benefit from Mindfulness Communication
Everyone can benefit from mindfulness communication, but children can take what they learn from mindfulness communication to create a successful future.
Children are faster to react to what they think than what is real. Thoughts are usually negative because human nature leads people to anticipate the worst. When children are able to step back and listen to what is really being said, they will be less anxious. Lower anxiety levels allow them to do more in their life because they won’t feel paralyzed by their nerves, especially when they get older.
Children learn how to focus on the present moment. This helps them learn how to focus on other areas of life, such as school. When children are in school, they will have a much easier time listening to lessons and concentrate on schoolwork. These skills can help children as adults become more productive at work.
Boosts Cognitive Control
Being able to control thoughts means having greater cognitive control. This can be a wonderful life skill because children will be able to make better decisions in the future by thinking through the factors that may affect them.
When children aren’t reacting to their thoughts, they are more patient because they know they have to wait to hear what the other person is saying. As they learn how to effectively communicate mindfully, they will become more patient. Again, this is a skill they will use for a lifetime.
Judgment often happens because people aren’t open to listening to others. When children learn early how to be open and non-judgmental, they will be able to work with others much easier. That includes working with their parents through their childhood and with others when they become adults.
Helping Children Become Mindful Communicators
Susan Kaiser Greenland, a mindfulness instructor who works with children says, “Learning mindfulness isn’t like piano lessons, where you can have someone else teach it to your children. You have to learn it yourself.” So, yes parents, it’s important to learn how to do this yourself and then you can teach your children. All of the above benefits for children are also for adults.
Consider looking into mindfulness communication for your children and for you.
By Marcie Hardy