Teaching Kids Mindfullness December 4, 2017 By Emma Gaccione The definition of mindfulness is “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”. My interpretation (similarly) is that you are aware of something other than yourself. In this day and age of “keeping up with the Joneses”, competing for everything, instant access, technology overload, reality tv, self-made (often no talent) celebrities, Twitter, selfies, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Musically ect., how do we filter through this chaos to teach mindfulness to our kids? We all want them to grow up to be healthy, happy and successful, right? I’ll add that I want mine to be kind and aware that they have it REALLY REALLY good. There are times that I think my kids are complete jerks. Sorry, but it’s true. There are also times (more often thank God) that my heart literally bursts with pride over the empathy and conscientious actions that I see them take. To take it a step further I want my kids and the kids they’re growing up with to take a minute to be aware that others who may not have it as good as them could often use a helping hand. And I want them to extend it. In a time when four percent of all kids in US between ages 2-11 are diagnosed with some type developmental delay and 400,000 children are between ages 3-9 receive intervention services, it is imperative that parents teach their kids how to interact with “these” kids. This staggering statistic is growing exponentially by the day. I have kids that run the gamut from the most social kid on the planet (never met a stranger) to kids that need someone to take the extra time to reach out and be patient enough to develop a friendship. I promise you it’s worth it! You may find the kids with few words can be the most kind, loving loyal, interesting and caring friends you’ve ever had. Who couldn’t use a friend like that?! The problem that parents are having with teaching their kids to interact with “special” kids is that they themselves just don’t know how. We didn’t have this epidemic of atypical, awkward kids when we were growing up. But we do now. So here’s my advice. Tell your kids to be inclusive. Tell them to reach out to the kid on the playground or lunchroom that’s often alone. If they are rebuffed, tell them to try again. And again. Third time may just be the charm. Just because a kid doesn’t make eye contact or speak often or speak at all does not mean they do not want to be social and included. Let me repeat. JUST BECAUSE A CHILD DOESN’T SPEAK OFTEN OR MAKE EYE CONTACT DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T WANT FRIENDS. They are often just ill-equipped at knowing the right things to say at the right times or even knowing how to initiate a conversation or blend in with a crew or click. Help them. In closing my ultimate goal is to see more done at the primary grade level. Isn’t part of school/education preparing our children for in the future to be successful adults? It takes more than rote memorized facts to achieve these goals. We need to look at the whole picture, the whole child, the WHOLE future. ALL of these children are our future. They all deserve a fair chance at greatness. We need to return to the days of “It takes a village” and help them get there. This is my mindfulness goal and I pray yours too. Happy Holidays! Emma Gaccione is a former NYC PR & Fashion Industry Diva turned Richmond VA transplant ,now in Colorado. Devoted stay at home wife & mother of four. She is a self taught special needs advocate with focus on SPD and ADHD having both in her family. She spends her time carting her kids around to various sports & hobbies in her cool minivan while somehow managing to keep her hands in alot of different “pots” (PTA, Special Needs group, Running a fairly large community forum and now author!) Oh and she’s a damn good tree climber. Get in touch with emma at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments comments Related PostsWhoo’s Know Different“Whoo’s KNOWDifferent” Cole’s Corner“Whoo’s KNOWDifferent” , Cole’s Corner“Whoo’s Know Different” – “Meet” Zoe & Her Parents.