In her interview with PsychAlive Senior Editor Lisa Firestone, Dr. Donna Rockwell talks about how to introduce young children to mindfulness. Watch or read the interview below.
Donna Rockwell: So, in parenting children, in Buddhist psychology they talk about the five senses as the five sense gates. So we actually experience life through tasting and smelling and how things feel, what they sound like, what they taste like. And we’re actually living from here up. We’re just all in our minds with that swirling cacophony of thought, thought, thought, thought.
One way we can help our children be more mindful and ourselves is to really help them to experience life through their five senses. So if you take them to the park, instead of just pushing them on the swing or letting them run around, which is also great, but to ask them, like, What does this leaf feel like? What is the texture of that? What does it feel like to you? Or how does this dirt smell? Like, let’s investigate it. How does the breeze feel when it hits your cheek?
You know, so that we’re training our children to be present in the moment and be mindful and actually experience life. And we do, do experience life through our five senses. And as grownups we need to remember that, too. As we’re racing with these monkey minds of ours. So that’s one way to create mindfulness with our children is to actually invite them to experience life through all of their five senses.
LF: And that you can start doing right from the very beginning, it sounds like, very early on with kids.
DR: Very early on, very early – one two, three. You know, and just, everything’s an adventure. You know, it’s all an adventure.