Are We Teaching Our Children to Stress?
by: Kalpana Patel
If you’ve ever uttered phrases such as, “Hurry up and have your breakfast,” or “You better eat fast or you’re going to miss your bus,” you might be setting the wrong tone for your child’s day.
When you ask your children to hurry and eat, they will rush through the eating process with the fear that they’ll miss the bus or that parents will get upset. At an early age, they will learn to gulp down their meals, which means they are not chewing the food well, which in turn is going to affect digestion. This not only means the children are not digesting their food well, but they are also learning to fast forward their lives when they should be learning to take things slowly. They begin to apply the fast-forward method not only during meals, but also to life in general.
When parents are stressed out due to the pressure of time, work, and family obligations, it’s hard to slow down even if you want to. But it’s not impossible. Here are some of the ways you can help your children slow down and live more mindfully, not only when they’re eating but in all areas of their lives.
- Spend 15 minutes every night preparing for the following day’s breakfast. This will save you time in the morning so that you can be a little more relaxed.
- Help your kids prepare for school the night before. Make sure all of their books and homework are in their backpacks and lay out clothes for the next day.
- Before you leave your room, set the tone for your day with a short meditation. This will help you start the day more relaxed, thus creating a more peaceful mood for your family.
- Teach your children to make gratitude a way of life. At the end of each day, ask them to say, or write down, one thing for which they are grateful. This will help them to appreciate the little things in life.
When your children are taught to be mindful about eating, they will gradually learn to be mindful in other areas of life, too. In this fast-paced world, it’s important to help our children understand the value of slowing down so they’re not just breezing through life without actually enjoying it.
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