Updated: Feb 24
How do we teach “mindfulness” to our overly entitled, social-media crazed, TikTok addicted, screen driven children? How do we teach our kids to not stress about the future or regret the past, thus creating anxiety-riddled teenagers?
One day last week, Haley (10.5 years old/5th grade) came home from school and told us about the Mindfulness Class she had at Miller that day. Taught by the AMAZING Banni Bunting, she was given the analogy of a boat floating in water and anchored to the ground below.
She explained that we are in the boat and the anchor allows us to float back (to the past) and forward (to the present) but always staying “anchored” to the present. And, the “anchor” can be any tool we use to center ourselves when we feel the boat floating too far back or too far forward and causing anxiety or stress.
I asked Haley what her “anchor” was (although I pretty much knew) and she said playing Legos. Since the time she was 3 or 4 years old, she has reenacted social scenes or any other conflict or experience through Disney figurines or Lego people. Even now, when she has had busy days or no “down time”, she retreats to her bedroom, climbs onto her loft bed and plays Legos.
Similarily, we asked Teddy (8.5 years old/3rd grade) what his “anchor” was and his response was listening to music and Legos as well. Whether it was listening to his iPod (VERY OLD iPod!) with headphones or more recently, his Echo Dot, Teddy has always found peace in listening to music.
Of course, then the kids wanted to know what MY “anchor” is. For me, it’s a physical release: a long, hard run, a few hours skiing on the mountain, water skiing at a ridiculous speed while cutting across the wake… Anything that takes me to the “edge” or feel “alive” anchors me to the present. After my dad died in a car accident, boxing and running were my grief releases as well as my anchor. When I feel overwhelmed by the daily grind of business ownership, raising kids and managing a household, the fresh air of the mountains and the feeling of skiing downhill with just enough control to be safe and feel the burn in my legs releases the tension on that “anchor”.
So, I guess the answer to the questions above about mindfulness and reducing stress, is simple: FIND YOUR ANCHOR. Let’s teach our kids to ground themselves in the simple things and not get caught up in everything around them. Let’s take care of ourselves and be mindful of how we handle the craziness of life.
What is YOUR anchor???