Expert / 15 May, 2018 / My Baba
Buddhify creator Rohan Gunatillake knows the importance of mindfulness. He also knows the seeming impossibility of finding a spare moment when you’re running a business and being the parent of a young child. The man behind the meditation and mindfulness app built Buddhify with a view to helping people work through and reduce the stresses of daily life. What he found was that parents, in using the app to help themselves relax, were involving their children in the guided Buddhify meditation sessions too.
The app works as a wheel, where you can choose from a range of meditations depending on how you’re feeling and what you’re doing. You choose the meditation that works for you and decide on the length most suitable. Next, Buddhify created a wheel for children’s meditation. “Buddhify kids has sixty meditations made by some of the very best teachers working in mindfulness for young people today,” explains Rohan. “There are different categories such as Going to Sleep, Calming Down, Feeling Better and Growing Wisdom.”
In creating the children’s wheel, the Buddhify team had to understand the stresses that affect both parents and children in everyday life, as well as how parents and children work independently and together. Here, founder Rohan talks us through the research into stress and mindfulness in parents and children he encountered along the way.
While there might be a thousand things which trigger an actual stressful episode between parents and children, deep down the cause tends to be the fact that, what your child is doing isn’t what you want them to be doing. The most powerful way to deal with this is to let go of what you want and instead take your child’s perspective – even if just for a moment. Connecting with your child in this way not only makes them feel more comfortable, it also gives you some breathing room to respond to the situation rather than just blindly react.
From my experience the main differences are, having less information from how they are feeling and sleep deprivation! Our son didn’t sleep particularly well for two years and that level of sleep deprivation can really exacerbate things. Looking after yourself can feel like something that goes out the window during this point, but it’s important, so is good communication with your partner – make sure you don’t take it out on each other!
The best way to get kids interested is to do it yourself. Children love copying what you do. Buddhify kids content is designed to be done by you and your child together – so that it is playful and quick. Make it a positive experience, not about fixing any problems, but about building positive qualities. I’ve started teaching my two-year-old but typically specialists in kids’ mindfulness tend to suggest from six years old. We’ve found that children find it natural, they are already full of curiosity and know what it is to be present. In fact, it’s often said that children are easier to teach than adults since they lack the scepticism and ingrained habits that many of us have
If mindfulness tells us anything, it’s that the quality and nature of our attention has a direct impact on our wellbeing – so model the behaviour you want to see in your child. Give them your full attention, avoid getting stuck in screens, be with them in the way you want them to be with others. It’s so clear as a parent that everything you do in some way trains them, so take that on board.