In a previous post we talked about a situation where your child could use mindfulness if they feel stressed out before a job interview. We also told you about some great websites to check out in that post. Let’s say you read about mindfulness, even listened to some audio, and now you are about to respond to your child’s text, asking for some support – what could they do?
Well first things first, practicing mindfulness in non-stressful situations will help your child be able to solidify it as a tool in their toolbox. Then it will be easier to use it when needed. Once they’ve done this, using mindfulness in a stressful moment might go something like this:
Your child thinking: Wow, my stomach feels really tight and my hands are sweaty. This is what happens when I’m nervous. Wow I am pretty nervous.
[take a mindful pause] When I’m nervous, it helps me to pause. Ok pause.
[literally focus on what is happening right in the present] Look around – what is around you? Ok there is a little toy truck that’s yellow, I’m carrying a blue folder with my resume, ok the door in front of me is wooden and white, I can hear myself breathing – ok slow down breathing – slow down – in, out.
[focus on breathing which is always something you can be present with] Ok, I feel my stomach relaxing, I think it’s ok to knock now.
Manager: Hi, are you Damian?
You: Yes, nice to meet you. Thanks for the interview.
Manager: No problem. I was impressed by your resume and the extracurricular activities you’ve been able to take on with school. In this job, you’d have to be good at handling stress because sometimes parents and kids are demanding! Do you have any example of a stressful situation you’ve been in with kids and how you’ve handled it?
Your child thinking: What! I have no idea? Stress? kids? I’m stressed right now. Oh man stomach getting tight again. Oh man, getting nervous again. Okay what is she wearing – she’s wearing a red hat, it says Little’s Toys, there’s a picture of her with her 2 kids, okay she’s a real person – she just wants to get to know me, no big deal, okay focus on breathing, breathe…breathe…okay I work with Sunday school kids…okay let me focus on that now…
You: I can definitely tell you about that. I’m an assistant at our church Sunday School and the kids there just want to have fun all the time instead of listening….etc.
Using mindfulness in the moment can be tough! But the more you and your child practice it, the better you get! What do you think about this story? Does it seem like something you think your child could do or has done before?