Confession: mindfulness does not come naturally to me. Fact: it doesn't for anyone! Mindfulness is a developed skill, with practice. That's right. We learn mindfulness. The benefits are more accessible to kids because of this thing called neuroplasticity. For adults (anyone over 25), we have to consciously practice mindfulness to be mindful. You may feel like an imposter as you sit in meditation with thoughts running all over the place from grocery lists, to work deadlines, to concerns over aging parents. We look like we're meditating, but are we really? YES! Sometimes at the last second before coming out of mediation, I "fall into" present-moment awareness. One second?! Yes, and that's okay.
Mindfulness is being cultivated little by little through a regular practice. It may show up as that slight pause in reactivity when the kids are running late, or something doesn't work out as planned. Mindfulness may show up as self-compassion when we only get through three of the five items on our To Do list and we cut ourselves some slack. The benefits of a gratitude practice show up when we feel a sense of abundance from the everyday ordinary things.
When we as parents practice mindfulness, we are providing our kids a powerful blueprint for living with a growth mindset, with self-compassion and with equanimity. More importantly, because of amazing neuroscience, when kids practice mindfulness, their brains actually do get wired differently.
So follow this rule-of-thumb: small doses of mindfulness are indeed impactful and there is extra power in consistency. Keep it simple. Open up your myKinCloud app wherever you are, and practice! If your child happens to be studying the geological sciences, you can think of the impact of mindfulness like sedimentary rock formation. You may not see the skiff of sand or dirt land, but little by little, amazing and grand things are happening!