Your Weekly Mindfulness: Listen

When our beautiful three year old turned four we noticed something - he started ignoring us. Perhaps we were lucky that we made it a whole three years, before the casual "Oh what's that? Did you say something?" began. Still, it drives me nuts. I know he can hear me! He's standing right next to me! Just to make sure he really could hear me I called him to put on his shoes three times the other day, after the third time I waited, then said "Hey Max want some of this donut?" - he came running in. 

I'm fairly certain almost every parent goes through this. While there isn't a blanket solution to get everyone's kids to listen, there is an activity I read about in this book titled- Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and their parents). Kids so often get deeply engaged in a distraction that listening can be next to impossible. That's where this activity comes in -it's geared towards helping promote awareness of your environment and hopefully, it will help your child bring their attention to who's speaking, and not to the myriad of things that are out there for distraction. Keep reading for the how to...

Are You Listening To Me?
(Listening activity adapted from Eline Snel's Sitting Still Like a Frog)

1. Invite your child to play a "listening game." (You can do this almost anywhere, in the car, on a walk, at the park, at the dentist etc.) 

2. Ask them think about what sounds they can hear right now. 

3. Then ask them questions about the sound (While they might be able to immediately identify the sound and what it belongs to, this activity is more about being able to find the characteristics of the sound, than labeling.)
  1. Are the sounds high pitched or low-pitched, humming or buzzing?
  2. Are they behind you, in front of you, to the side?
  3. Are they far away or close by?
  4. Is there a rhythm or pattern to the sound?
  5. Are the sounds outside of your body?
  6. Can you hear any sounds inside you?
top image by: Ed Uthman

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