Summer Mind Skills
by Thomas Haller
|You are your child’s first and most important teacher and always will be. Maybe you’ll teach your child to ride a bike or hit a baseball this summer. It could be that you’ll teach how to manage time, set priorities, mow the lawn or manage a lemonade stand. Teaching how to use map at an amusement park, how to swim or how to be a gracious winner of an athletic event would also be worthwhile choices.|
Another area, one that is often overlooked by parents is that of mind management. We teach children how to manage time, money, clothes, cleanliness and social interactions. Rarely do we teach them how to manage their own minds to create a desired attitude or result. Following are three mind skills that your children from tots to teens could learn and practice this summer.
1. Turn the Page
Turn the Page is another mind skill that helps children tune into their own power and use it effectively in their lives. Turn the Page is a symbolic demonstration that re-minds them that the past is over and the present is where their power lies.
"As you know from last weekend, things didn't go well with Carmen, the babysitter. Both of you were disappointed. I was disappointed. Carmen was disappointed. Together, you and I, have just spent an hour going over what went wrong and how we could improve that situation. We have most of that recorded on the chart paper on the table. Now watch what happens and tell me what you see."
This parent then turned the paper over and asked, "What do you see now?"
"Nothing," one of the kids answered.
"That's right," the parent replied. "There is nothing there. We now have an empty page, a clean slate. We have just turned the page on an unpleasant experience. Think of turning the page as leaving the past behind. There is nothing any of us can do about what happened last weekend. We have learned what we can from it. Now it is over. Carmen will be here in about an hour. Let's see how you do with a new page."
2. Let It Go
"You each have two sheets of toilet paper," Brenda Watson explained to her two boys. "With a pen, I want you to write a sentence describing some incident that happened this summer that you would like to forget.
Perhaps it was your spill on your dirt bike during the big race. Maybe it was the time you struck out with the bases loaded. Perhaps it was when you asked Jessica to meet you at the roller rink and she turned you down. Take a minute and record the incident on your toilet paper. I’ll do one too"
When she and both boys had finished writing, this mother invited them into the bathroom where they deposited their writings in the toilet. "Watch what happens," she instructed as she flushed the toilet. As you would expect, a swirl of water swept the papers away and out of sight as the interested boys looked on.
After the children had returned to the kitchen table, Brenda inductively coaxed from them the messages that activity was intended to deliver, which included:
Let It Go is the mind skill this mother was demonstrating with the toilet paper activity. Again, this is a mind skill that can be carried out physically, using the toilet, or done with a mental flush.
- If you don't like what's happening in your life, you can flush it.
- What's done is done. Let it go.
- Get rid of bad feelings.
- Writing it down and throwing it away helps you get rid of it.
- Don't hang on to negative thoughts.
Symbolic gestures and imagery help mind skills stick in the consciousness. Let It Go can be done mentally, visualizing balloons ascending in your imagination. Resentments from the past can be burned or buried, flushed, or sent away mentally on balloons. They can be ripped up and thrown in the wastebasket.
3. Make a BE Choice
Making a BE choice is different than making a Do choice. Children make do choices all the time. They read a book, play a video game, apologize to their grandmother, bring in the groceries, go for a bike ride. These decisions are made routinely without much thought.
Not as often do we or our children make BE choices, how we are going to BE when we DO whatever it is that we DO. How you choose to BE when you talk to your teen about her report card has more impact than what you choose to do. How you choose to BE when you read a bedtime story to your toddler will greatly modify their experience of that story.
You can teach your children to made a BE choice. "We're getting ready to go in the restaurant. Remember, this is not a fast food place. Let's all decide how we want to BE during this dinner. Later, we can talk about how with did with that choice."
Many children are not aware that they are actually choosing to be bored, worried, excited, friendly, happy, annoyed, interested, or many other states of being. Help them improve their sense of personal power by helping them see that they are at choice.
"I understand you are asking your teacher to let you take a retest. How do you want to BE?"
"Billy is coming over in a few minutes to play. How do you want to BE when he is here?"
"Mom is exhausted from a rough week. How could we choose to BE that would help her out tonight?"
Help your children learn these mind skills this summer to help them get in touch with the power they have over how they perceive, feel, think and act. Once learned, they can be used by your children to re-mind themselves to access more of their personal power.
Summer Training Opportunities
|1. Teacher Talk Advantage 3 Day Intensive|
June 20 - 22, 2018
Bay City Central High School
1624 Columbus Ave.
Bay City, MI 48708
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
2. Parent Talk System Training of Trainers
August 2 - 4, 2018
Parkside Church of Christ
17200 W Outer Dr.
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
3. Empowering Kids Now Global Summit 2018
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