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5 tips on mindfully talking to kids about a non-mindful election

Mindfulness expert shares her tips

mindfully speaking to kids about non-mindful election

If you're anything like me, you've banned 24-hour news stations from your home.

I'm sorry. I just can't anymore.

I consider myself to be well versed on politics and generally I'm enthralled by them, but something is different this time. I'm disturbed by, well... everything.

I was recently introduced to Kathy Walsh, the Founder of Peace Place for Kids and the author of a slew of mindful parenting books as well as mindful children's books. Like many of us, Kathy has found herself disgusted at times during this election cycle.

"As we are nearing the last few weeks of the campaigns, things seem to be getting more and more heated," says Kathy.  "It's important to remember that children are watching and listening too."

So before the election in November, what can we do as parents to help protect our children from the challenging energy this election cycle has created?

Kathy's 5 tips on how to mindfully talk to children about a non-mindful election.

  1. Express your own feelings about this election cycle using feeling words. For example: “It makes me sad to hear people call someone bad names.”

  2. Assure your child this constant negativity is not the world we live in. Maybe even find some good stories about people helping people or people helping animals. 

  3. Help them to choose love over fear. We can either operate from a place of love or fear. Teach them to practice picturing their hearts and asking their heart what to do in the situation. 

  4. Model non-judgment. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. Show your child how you can have a passionate discussion about a subject that means a lot to you. Without judgment. For example, when speaking with someone who supports a different candidate than you say, “I hear you and value your opinion, and this is how I feel.”

  5. Practice peace and love breath. Sitting on the floor, open your arms out to the side as you breathe deeply. Breathing in peace. Bring your hands back to your heart. Do this several times. This is an amazing opportunity to teach your child that no matter what’s going on in the world we all have the ability to connect to the peace inside of us.