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Mindful ActivityMake Your Kid the Boss

Make Your Kid the Boss

Designate a special few minutes per day where your kid is the boss … and be prepared to be amazed at the results. Designed for children 10 and under.

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Hi there, Jon again. (upbeat music) This is an audio activity about special time, flipping the script on the command storm. Keep in mind that this is an exercise that works really well if you have young kids, preschool and elementary school-aged children. Let's get going. You know, there are many approaches to parenting skills and education courses, but one of the shared features throughout these approaches is making time for direct attention and praise. And one of the ways to do that is to empower children by giving them a little bit more of the control. And the way that we do that is something that we call special time. Now, special time is an idea that is supposed to turn the tables on how a child lives each and every moment of their day-to-day life. If we reflect on a child's day, there's so much that's being asked of them. Put on your shoes, get dressed, get out the door. And if you think about times that you might have been in work situations or relationships where you're being ordered around left and right, you might feel the sense of just wanting to break free. And what special time is is an attempt to be an outlet valve for that irritability and to do it specifically in the parenting relationship. So a special time is naming five minutes where you will play an activity that is safe of your child's choosing and you will be the one following. Do they wanna play with blocks and build a structure that's outside of the Lego instructions? Do it. This is the time where chess pieces can knock over four pieces in one move. So for this five-minute period, the child is the boss of the creative play, of the rules of the game, whatever your child wants to set the rules and the frame of this five-minute time period, let them. Don't make assumptions. If you can, truly let them boss you as much as possible in this five minute period. And what we are hoping for special time is not that this is the way you live your life constantly. That's why it's called special. It's five minutes that you deliver to each child every day. It's really important for it to be every day because then that allows this to be something that a child can start to expect and that they can start to know that they're going to have this moment. And a couple things that are happening in this moment that are so exciting. One, a child is free of the command storm. Two, hopefully you've put your phone away, you've let nothing impact special time. And then you're starting to notice, "Oh, there's all these things I could comment on." You could start to squeeze in that sportscasting or that positive praise into these opportunities. Maybe you're sold on special time, but another question's coming for you. How am I gonna end it? That is...


TypeMindful Activity
Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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