“What are you thinking about?” That is my all-time favorite question to ask children when I am working with them.
Invariably, they give me two answers. “I don’t know.” “Nothing.”
Hmm - that’s pretty sad stuff. So, about one year ago, I decided to remedy this situation. I created a customizable-hybrid program called The 3M’s - otherwise known as - Metacognition Meets Mindfulness. (No fancy scientific explanation needed. Keep reading to discover what it is and what it does.)
People, of all ages, deserve to know the power that resides in their thoughts. Thoughts can build us up, tear us down, or keep us stuck. It has taken me many years (and personal work) to get to a place of understanding - enlightenment if you'd like - that I now enjoy.
Enlightenment, however, doesn’t have to take decades to develop. The process of achieving understanding can begin at any age; thus, I determined to teach Wisdom’s Ways to children. Living in this world can often be lonely and faceless. Children need to be equipped with beautiful, life-giving tools that make this journey worth doing.
As the age-old saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding.” So, what have I discovered over the past year of using The 3M’s? Two things. First, children are hungry for meaning and truth regarding life. Second, children are capable of plumbing the depths of thought – even four-year-olds.
Surprisingly, in just a few sessions of exploring thoughts, I have seen children who were anxious, depressed, angry, hopeless, indifferent, and introverted become joyful, grounded, compassionate, hopeful, willing, confident, verbal, and excellent critical-thinkers.
The 3M’s are fun! The program is totally customizable; therefore, it takes on a different color or flavor for each child.
Here are just a few things that I offer to get the ball rolling:
The Game of S-I-F-T: This acronym stands for Sensation – Image – Feeling – Thought. Children need to be taught the meaning of each. And how to personally identify and relate to each one.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping)
Palming Technique (relaxation specific for the visual system)
Mindful de-stressing of the body
Music as a means of fostering inner rest and profound focus
Sketching and coloring to liberate the imagination
Interpretation of poems
Walks in nature
Analytical, yet playful, discussions of short-animated films. Link to one of my favorite short-animated films : "Mind Games"
Targeted selections from “The Book of Virtues’ by William Bennett – followed by an age-appropriate literary analysis. What is the universal message? What is the personal message?
Read aloud books from my glorious stack of children’s books which teach metacognition
(See photos of books below)
Sharing The 3M’s with my clients is one of the highlights of my holistic practice for empowering children. The good news is that these same methods work wondrously with my adult clients, too.
If you’d like more information, please reach out. I would be happy to empower you or your child for this journey called “life.”