Teaching Mindfulness to Children – the 4 P’s

As a third grade teacher, there were some days that just flew by. The final bell would ring and the day felt like a blur. Had to get thru the lesson plan, had to catch the students who were absent up, had to fit in the day’s teachings and take the impromptu school assembly into consideration. Oh, and try to eat lunch. 

One day I was up in bed, trying to remember if this one particular student was present that day. For me, this was unacceptable. No matter the circumstances, my goal was to be present and active in each child’s life every day. 

I took this seriously. I drew up a chart and filled it in for each child every day. I wrote something 1. Positive, 2. Personal, 3. Praising, and 4. Productive I said to each student. Seeing it on paper really put things into perspective, as you’d like to have this personal relationship equally with all of the children. 

 At home, this chart can be managed a lot easier, as there are a lot less family members than in a classroom. 

For example:

  1. Positive – Thanks for the soup, dad. My throat feels so much better. 
  2. Personal – Did you get a haircut? Your hair was so much longer yesterday!
  3. Praising – Great job writing your name! You are getting so much better with your letter n.
  4. Productive – If you clean your playroom, there will be enough space for me to play a board game with you. 

I made this chart for my teenager. As the oldest sibling and first born, I want her to know that her influence speaks volumes. Her relationships with the rest of us is vital to our family’s growth. And as she is growing up in this technology era, sometimes you just need to see things on paper and ditch the screens, which can be blinding to reality. 

 Her project for the next four days is to think “positive, personal, praising, and productive” and speak those words over the rest of us. 

This chart can be adjusted for younger children by just focusing on one of the objectives. Start with “positive” – and require your youngster to say one positive thing to each family member every day. 

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