It seems as though the world around us is speeding up at an accelerated pace. We are rushing from appointment to appointment, taking our kids from one activity to the next, working multiple jobs, and trying to maintain a busy household. Our children are growing up in a fast-paced world with busy schedules and busy parents. Often times, as we are racing through our days, our children simply want to slow down.
Recently I was walking with my 5-year-old son in the grocery store parking lot, hurrying him along so we could get into the store and get our shopping done. He suddenly stopped to look closely at some flowers and smell them. My initial reaction was: “Come on Buddy, let’s go. We can’t just stop here, we are on our way into the store…”
And then I realized I NEED TO SLOW DOWN. Here was my child, literally stopping to smell the roses. He was living in the present moment, taking in the world around him, and I was rushing him. I began to ask myself, who am I to keep my son from being present and noticing the details of the flowers? Why am I hurrying him through his day just so we can get into the store 30 seconds sooner? My son reminded me to slow down, be present, and to not to rush past the beauty around me.
When we are in the present moment, we often realize that there isn’t a need to be in a hurry. Here are a few ways that we can slow down and practice being present with our children in the midst of our busy day:
- Take five or ten minutes each day for “special time” with your child. Put down your phone and give 100% of your attention to being present with him or her. Let your child choose how you will spend your time. You might find that without distractions, you are both drawn into the present moment.
- Step outside with your child and look for things you have never noticed before. Maybe this is just the numbers on the curb, the shape of a nearby tree, or the view behind the buildings. Taking time to notice our surroundings helps to bring us into the present.
- Practice conscious breathing with your child. Talk about breathing and teach your child to feel the belly rise and fall with each breath. See what happens when both you and your child slow your breathing down. It can have the power to calm the body and the mind.
Often our children are our best teachers, and just by observing them, we can see what it means to be present and the value of slowing down.
By Michelle Long, M.A.
Michelle Long is the owner and founder of Bloom: A Retreat for Mothers, A Treat for Children. She was born and raised in Walnut Creek and holds a Masters degree in Holistic Health Education. Michelle has been teaching yoga for more than ten years, is a certified coach, and a mother of two young children. Learn more at www.bloomretreat.com and Facebook: Bloom: A Retreat for Mothers. A Treat for Children. Call us at (925) 939-6262 or come by 1444 S. Main Street in Walnut Creek. Mention Active Kids and get your first half hour of childcare free!