On the weekend, the little Miss and I were in Melbourne for two days. I am a big believer in kids learning through play, so going on little adventures and being involved in new experiences is often on our to-do list. Indiana is at an age now that her personality traits are truly evident and through my psychology studies, agree that genetics have a role in shaping our personal traits as well as our experiences/environment. Although I would absolutely love for all of her experiences to be positive, I realise that it won’t help her development if she never experiences anything out of left field. After all, life can and will throw some curve balls here and there and it is the combination of these different experiences that help determine how each person responds in the future.

One thing that really struck me was on Sunday morning, while we were on a stroll by the bay back from the park with a friend, I said to Indiana ‘How about you give some people walking past a wave, it might make them smile’. As she is a pretty bubbly (and cheeky!) kid there was no hesitation, as it’s in her nature to say hello and smile to people who pass by anyway. So off she went, waving, smiling and waving to anyone and everyone who walked past. Unfortunately we witnessed how quickly a child’s self-esteem can be shot down, as literally the first 20+ people that we passed looked at her, engaged and simply turned away without even a simple smile. I mean she’s 2.5 years old, is it really that hard to wave, say hello or even crack half a smile at someone, let alone a small child? As I noticed Indiana’s smile turn in to a confused and upset frown, with her posture going from upright to shoulders slouched, my friend and I encouraged and told her not to worry. Not long after our faith in the human race was restored as a young couple strolled past, in mid conversation stopped, smiled, waved and said hello and from then on for the next 15 minutes of our walk Indiana would be so excited when she got a response from people. Sure, there was still plenty of people that simply ignored her, but for those who didn’t it made her day.

On our 2 hour drive home later that night while the little Miss was sleeping, I was going over in my head all of the different things we got up to in the last couple of days and while as a whole we had an awesome time catching up with friends and family, going to the footy, ice skating, eating yummy food, city strolls, park plays and Indi pretending to be a super hero all of Saturday (costume and all); our Sunday morning ‘incident’ got me thinking and it made me even more determined than before to keep spreading this mindful message, especially to children.

If we can teach our children to be kind and mindful of others (even when it is not reciprocated), we here at The Movement to Mindfulness really believe the world can change for the better. After all our kids are our future, and we have the ability to help shape the way they see, and cope in this world we live in.

Published by The Movement To Mindfulness