Children could be considered mini professors on life.
There is so much to learn from their ability to be in the moment. They pay attention to the tiny details and remember every little thing. Like if I give a bunch of kids a different colored cup to drink from, they always know who gets which cup when they come back for their beverage hours later.
One of the most impressive demonstrations of this involves a set of identical twins, GL’s friends. None of the adults can tell the difference between these two (I always figure I’ve got a 50 / 50 chance and just go for it). But the kids know exactly who is who. Once we were crossing the street, and one of the twins was a half block away, (with her back facing us!) waiting for the bus. GL called her name to say hi. She got it right.
Paying attention means living more in the moment. Here are 4 tips to help.
1. Focus On One Thing
Kids are masters at this. Obviously they don’t have the same to-do lists we have, but they usually show up with 100% presence. So for us this means when it’s story time, read (or listen to) the story. Concentrate only on what’s happening within the book. Leave the laundry list out of the equation.
2. Practice Whole Body Listening
I learned this term when M was in Kindergarten, then got a refresher course when G went into that class. Here’s a detailed description, but basically to practice whole body listening
You put your hands down
You keep your body still
Your eyes look at the person talking
And your brain thinks about what they are saying.
Easier said than done, right?
3. Put Your Phone Away
You can’t do #1 and #2 with your phone around. And I know I’m not noticing much when I can’t even hear my kids say STOP WORKING ON YOUR PHONE, MOM!
4. Tidy Up
We have a rule over here — the kids have to clean up their mess before they can move on to the next fun (messy) activity. Put simply, a clean space contributes to more mindfulness. It’s a purification; the act of cleaning clears the mind.
How do you click into the moment to notice more?