Summer is a favorite season for all, and with good reason. Days are longer, the weather is better and there’s the feeling of endless time stretching before us as we plan vacations, camp adventures and getaways.
Not long after the 4th of July has come and gone, as the sun and moon begin to slowly change positions in the sky, there is a creeping visceral awareness of the passing of time. At The Meeting House, we like to focus on the magic in small moments and big occasions and so we would gently redirect our students to recall or share something that happened to them this summer that was noteworthy. It may be as simple as finally getting that kite sky high, or as big as a first sleep-away camp experience minus homesickness.
In any case, as summer wanes I thought it might be helpful to discuss how to keep our children“ "in the moment” less worried about the countdown until school begins, and more “mindful” of things to be aware of. Be open to the discussion and expect feelings about the end of summer. Enjoying the here and now is not easy for anyone. Here are some suggestions I hope will help, all aimed at being present now!
— If books are for you, try Sitting Still Like A Frog, Author Eline Snel.
— You can simply begin with the environment and if you like games, try any in the “I Spy” genre, changing categories as you go. If your children are older, use more abstract categories such as things that are man-made vs things found in nature or things in order of size.
— Focus on the beauty in small things. Have you noticed Venus in the sky lately? There is a great phone app, Skyview, that allows you to point at any sky and it tells you what stars you are seeing
— Move on next to body sensations. How about playing a meditation game using chocolate or ice cream? Silently eat your treat and discuss tastes and textures.
— Finally, follow your breathing. Think about what your breathing tells you. Helping kids control their breath helps put them in better control overall. The standard exercises are best, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathe with them.
In no time at all summer will be a memory and we will all be back to work and school. Begin adjusting schedules now, rolling back on all the late nights and lazy mornings. Involve the children in buying supplies, clothes, and snacks.
If necessary, preview the route to school especially if it represents a change. Finally, SPEND TIME. There is simply no substitute for the magic of parents and children spending time together which in the end, is what they will miss the most when they are back to school.
Happy rest of summer,
Be sure to visit The New York Historical Society Presentation, “Summer of Magic: Treasures from The David Copperfield Collection.
Don’t miss the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival hosted in Central Park