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 6: Self-Compassion for Mistakes

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 6] Self-Compassion for Mistakes

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 self compassion for mistakes.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent or kid. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. 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 best selling book, Raising Good Humans, and now Raising Good Humans Every Day.

I'm joined by Dr. Christopher Willard, clinical psychologist, author, and dad. He's 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.

The Chris Willard. Welcome back again to Mindfulness for Kids on the Mindful Parenting Podcast.

[00:01:01] Dr. Chris Willard: Thanks for having me again, Hunter. Yeah. Let's uh, let's do some mindfulness. So be it. I always think. You know, we spent all this time talking about Mindful, and I was like, let's, let's get to it and practice. Uh, let's do it.

Yeah. All right. Well, I thought today some self compassion is in order. I know, I mean, I'm sure you never make mistakes as a Mindful Mama, um, but I occasionally as a dad make mistakes. Um, and when I was a kid, I once or twice made a mistake. So, um, yeah, some self compassion could

[00:01:29] Hunter: be in order. Yeah. I think we might all need that because Contrary to my glowing image, I do indeed make a fair bit of mistake.

[00:01:39] Dr. Chris Willard: Absolutely. All right. Well, this is going to be actually we're going to do, we're going to visualize a mistake and we're going to just kind of notice and talk ourselves through it. Um, just like we, you know, need people to help us talk ourselves through it. Sometimes we're on our own when we make a mistake and we need to have that more compassionate voice inside to talk ourselves through a tough moment that we all have.

Whatever our mindful posture is, sitting, standing, laying down, whatever that might be. And just begin with a few breaths, just really breathing in, know that you're breathing in. Breathing out, knowing that you're breathing out.

And then bring to mind maybe a recent mistake. But like a small one,

like maybe a small spelling mistake that you made and you felt kind of embarrassed.

You said something you weren't sure that you should have said or something like that, or you forgot something, forgot your jacket at home, forgot something in your backpack.

And every one of us, us adults, us mindfulness teachers, us kids, when we do that, a lot of us Or all of us have that little critical voice that's sort of like, what's the matter with you? Why'd you do that? And that voice kind of hurts. You might even notice it right now. Not being so kind.

Notice what it's saying and how it feels when it's talking to you in that voice, and then just ask it to step aside for a moment,

and just imagining a kinder, more compassionate voice just saying, Oh, this was hard. This doesn't feel good. I don't like making mistakes.

I don't like feeling this way. I don't like being wrong. And

notice if that feels a little bit different, that voice inside you,

the kind of voice you might use with a friend,

well, that probably feels pretty yucky. Pretty lousy. Whatever words work for you,

and then offer yourself like you would a friend, some words to remind them, and remind yourself that you're not alone. Everyone makes mistakes,

nobody's nerfic, this is why pencils have erasers,

we all have tough days, we all forget our lunch sometimes, we all get wrong answers,

and sometimes it helps to even remember even grown ups make mistakes, and grown ups forget to pack you your lunch.

Even grown ups have a hard time, even Hunter and I.

We're all human.

And if you like, if you want to, you can give yourself a little hug with one arm on each shoulder or put a hand over your heart and just feel that gentle pressure. Give yourself a little squeeze or feel that warmth of your hand. Just like you give a friend a hug

and then just making a nice wish for yourself. May I be kinder to myself.

May I forgive myself. May I let this go.

Or if it feels easier at first, may all the other listeners be kind to themselves. May Hunter and Chris be kind to themselves. And remembering that we're wishing this for you too. Try taking that in.

I forgive myself and be kind. May I just try again tomorrow?

I wish that I don't give up. I wish he just doesn't get me down.

Taking just one more moment to

say these phrases to yourself that feel like the ones that you need. This is hard. I don't like making mistakes.

Nobody's perfect.

We all have hard days. May we all be kind to ourselves. Give

yourself a last squeeze with your hug or feel your hand on your heart and that warmth spreading and then just... Open your eyes, remembering you're not alone. Bring your wish for yourself.

Self compassion is really one of my favorite practices out there. It can become one of yours that you just can learn how to listen more to that kinder voice than that voice. That's kind of critical and not always so kind because being successful is really about learning how to be kind to ourselves. So my wish for you is that you can find that kinder voice.

I think this was such

[00:07:57] Hunter: a great practice. Chris, I think that I needed that, and I bet since you're human too, dear listener, you needed that too. We all need to practice this pretty regularly, I think. Sometimes we forget.

[00:08:15] Dr. Chris Willard: Absolutely. I think especially as parents, but I think when we parents can be kind to ourselves and we show our kids too, that it's, it's okay to be kind to yourself.

Like you can, you can forgive yourself. You can let things go and you're still a good person just because you make a mistake doesn't mean you are a mistake and all those things. But when we slow down and breathe and say this to ourselves, it sinks in, I think, in a different way. At least that's been my experience.

[00:08:39] Hunter: I think so too. I know that this is going to be so helpful. Thank you so much for sharing this practice with us today. It's really beautiful.

[00:08:48] Dr. Chris Willard: Oh, thank you, Hunter.

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