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Being Fully Present with Children – and Ourselves
April 15, 2020
When we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We’re discovering the universe.
-Pema Chodron

Psychologist Elyssa Barbash, Ph.D., in an article in Psychology Today writes: “Being mindful can increase mental and emotional well-being…I often tell my patients that depression lives in the past and anxiety lives in the future. Alternately, calmness and peace of mind live in the present…I work on teaching many of my patients how to be more mindful, which inherently means learning and practicing how to be (more) present in the moment…Those who live in the moment tend to be happier, calmer and more relaxed, and appreciative. Mindfulness can also increase your ability to be in tune with your thoughts, emotions, and body sensations, which allows you to work with these human factors and communicate how you are thinking and feeling to both yourself and others.”

Deb Curtis, in Really Seeing Children, begins one of her book’s chapters with this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh: “If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything. When a child presents himself to you with his smile, if you are not really there – thinking about the future or the past, or preoccupied with other problems – then the child is not really there for you. The technique of being alive is to go back to yourself in order for the child to appear like a marvelous reality. Then you can see him smile and you can embrace him in your arms.”

The author explains that “we can only see through our own eyes, hear through our own ears, and relate to what is unfolding through our own experiences. It is mostly impossible to be objective as we walk around in our own skin, especially with all the demands pulling on us. The most useful way to see outside ourselves and our adult agenda is to be aware of our own perspective as we relate to children and our work. Once we are aware of it, we can choose to put our adult agenda aside to really see children.”

Source: “Mindfulness and Being Present in the Moment,” by Elyssa Barbash Ph.D., Psychology Today, January 7, 2018

Really Seeing Children

Use coupon code SEEING
to get free shipping on this title

Really Seeing Children helps adults leave behind their own preoccupations so they can be fully present for children. Deb Curtis, in her more than 40 years as an early childhood educator, has cultivated a reflective teaching practice devoted to really seeing children.

Through her collection of stories and photographs, learn to suspend your adult agenda to really see children's perspectives and the amazing ways they experience the world. Taking up this practice will bring joy and deeper understanding to your work and life and allow you to engage with children in a more meaningful teaching and learning process.

Use coupon code SEEING at checkout.

Offer valid through April 16, 2020 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
May not be combined with any other offer.


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