To be aware means to live in the present moment, being conscious of our own thoughts, words and actions. Distractions can lead to the missing of important information, recognizing ones situation, wrong interpretation of events and therefore inappropriate behavioral decisions. This can lead to anxiety, avoidance or anger and put one in a vicious circle of action – reaction. It's really important to maintain these skills as it can give them greater control over their behavior and even help children to stay focused while learning. Great, but how the heck do we teach mindfulness to a 3 year-old kiddo?
Mindfulness is a popular technique for training awareness, so we can focus on the present moment, without the addition of judgment or following the thought patterns instead of simply paying attention to what is happening. Inside and outside the monkey. Laura shared with us some games and techniques appropriate for certain age groups as well as benefits of each of them. They not only help to bring the monkey mind to the present, develop awareness and focus, but also connect children with themselves, their bodies and emotions. Some of these
sneaky methods worked pretty well for us too! Besides, it was fun and this is the basic requirement for training the monkey.
The rest of the day was dedicated to preparation of the final practice. According to the template given by Laura, I spent whole afternoon preparing the plan and props. Of course, I draw out the age group I was afraid off the most – children aged three to five years. I love to complicate my life, so in addition, I draw props by myself and made up some songs fitting to chosen theme “Nature & Community”, as I still had believed, I actually can sing... So, to comfort myself, I decided to practice mindful eating with the famous TCDF’s homemade chocolate bars. Good job, monkey.