Dr. Willard has been practicing meditation for over 20 years, and teaching for almost as long. His thoughts on mental health have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, mindful.org, cnn.com, and elsewhere.

Mindfulness for Kids 3: Settling Down

with Dr. Christopher Willard & Hunter Clarke-Fields

Join Hunter Clarke-Fields and Dr. Christopher Willard in this special series of mindfulness practices for kids! Mindfulness offers kids a powerful tool for managing the pressures of school, peer relationships, and the increasing digital distractions, ultimately promoting their overall emotional intelligence and promoting a healthier, more balanced approach to life. 

[Mindfulness For Kids 3] Settling Down

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: You're listening to a Mindfulness for Kids episode of the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Today, we're practicing settling down.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here, it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent or kid. I'm your host, Hunter Clarkfields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the bestselling book, Raising Good Humans, and now Raising Good Humans Every Day.

I'm joined by Dr. Christopher Willard, clinical psychologist, author, and dad. He is the author of 20 books, including Alpha Breaths and Growing Up Mindful. Both of us have been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years, and we are so excited to share the benefits with you.

Chris, welcome back to the Mindfulness for Kids episodes of the Mindful Parenting Podcast. So glad you're here. Thank you. Thanks for having me back. Yes. I am so excited to talk to you. Maybe excited isn't the right word. I'm excited and then later I'll be like, I'm ready to just relax. We had some very relaxing episodes.

What have you got for me now in session three?

[00:01:18] Dr. Chris Willard: Yeah. I was thinking just, in the, we had some sleepy time ones. I was thinking like settling down just when our kids are a little wound up, if that works for you. So this is just a settling practice. And I do this actually in conjunction with shake up the glitter jar and watch it settle, or even when kids are a little, running around with a motor on like, all right, let's like shake our whole bodies out and then become still and let ourselves settle like the glitter jar, like something else.

So you can start by maybe shaking your body out if you want to, shake your arms and legs and stuff like that, like you're dancing or shaking or something, when you maybe feel a little bit wound up, just meet kids at their level and then you can just put your hands and arms down and just take a moment to settle into your seat, just sitting up straight in a more...

Mindful Body Posture,

and then just notice the sensations of your hair settling on the top of your head. Just let your hair settle on your head.

And then going down a bit further, let your upper eyelids settle on your lower eyelid. Just feel those sensations.

You can feel the points of contact where your upper lip meets your lower lip,

or where your tongue just rests on the floor of your mouth. Just aware of those sensations there.

If your hands are in your lap. You can just notice where they make contact with each other.

You'll be feeling your legs settling into the chair, just feeling the outline of where each thigh meets the chair underneath you.

And then just letting gravity do the work of pulling your feet onto the floor and noticing sensations there. And then you can just scan back up through your body, up to your mind, and seeing if your thoughts aren't maybe just a little bit more settled after we've felt our whole body settling with these points of contact, after maybe moving around a little bit and getting a bit silly.

This is when I like to, when it's time to transition maybe between... Being outside to having to sit down to math or kids are getting a little bit wound up or trying to transition into a new way of being. This is one that we can do together. It helps us all settle into whatever's next when we need to go from silly to a little bit more serious or a little bit more straight laced and calm and focused.

So it's just based on Terebrek's touch points. Let's call it the settling practice.

[00:04:20] Hunter: I love that. That was super simple. So to review again for me, meeting my kids, where their energy is at, wherever kids, you got a lot of energy. So sometimes we adults need to go a little crazy. We need to raise our energy up and get a little silly and a little excited.

And then settling down, feeling my hair settle, feeling my eyelids settle, my lips and kind of

[00:04:49] Dr. Chris Willard: going down the body. Absolutely. So then just these like places where we feel the contact, and when we focus on sensations, it's much easier than being like, Oh, focus on your thoughts, right? That's very hard for us adults to do.

So the sensations can be helpful and we can move through this pretty quickly. Of course, you can make it 10 minutes or 20 minutes, or you can just make it three minutes just to. Quickly Settle Down, a kind of variation I used to do, I would, we're probably about the same age. I don't know if you remember the PBS show, 3 2 1 Contact, which like when I was a kid, I think of three, three points of contact.

So like feet on the floor, butt on the chair, like hands in your lap or hands on the table in front of you, like ready to start homework or something like that. So it's just an even shorter version of noticing those points of contact just to get us to settle into the moment. Yeah.

[00:05:36] Hunter: Thank you. That is a very grounding, settling practice.

I hope that helps you, dear listener, you the parent and you the kiddo. I hope it helps you feel settled and grounded and ready for whatever you need to do in your life today. Thank you so much, Chris, for sharing this practice with us today.

[00:05:57] Dr. Chris Willard: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.

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