Grand Master Lu often says, “Do nothing. That is the best ‘something’ you can do.” For people who are used to always being on the go, doing nothing can be a huge challenge. How do I sit still when my ‘to do’ list goes on and on?
This challenge doesn’t just present itself to adults. Unfortunately, many children are fidgety–just look at the new fidget spinner craze! Teachers complain all the time that their students, ranging from kindergarten to college, have a hard time focusing in school. Why is that? And what can we do to create a new generation of focused children?
From the time they’re able to walk–and sometimes even earlier–children are handed iPads, phones and other devices to keep them entertained. Gone are the days of being taught to sit in a restaurant or watch a sibling’s recital. And since kids have been entertained with electronics for so long, they expect things to move quickly. It’s no wonder that people have less and less patience while waiting at a red light, and kids cannot sit for more than ten minutes in a classroom.
And while it’s okay to play electronics or video games from time-to-time, it’s important to not be in constant motion 24-hours per day. Teaching our kids (and ourselves) to unplug and develop a calm and peaceful heart is the most important gift we can give them. But is that realistic in today’s electronic-crazed society? Absolutely.
Here are a few tips:
- Read a book! Flipping pages of a book is calming, as is coloring or painting, which stimulate the creative side of the brain.
- Observe, observe. Kids that are overly stimulated need to be taught to focus and relax. Help them relearn this skill by observing something in nature, such as a bird making a nest. Help them use their senses to observe everything around them. Then transfer these skills to a real-life event, such as a little sister’s art show or a school presentation.
- Use your hands. Teach kids to create something from scratch, whether it’s a bird house that they build from scraps of wood, a vegetable garden they plant in the backyard, or a cake they bake with flour, sugar, and eggs. Help them to create a goal, see it through, and enjoy the end result.
- Play! It may sound silly, but getting outside to play does wonders for the soul! Now that summer is drawing near, there’s lots of time for good ‘ol fashioned fun, like splashing in puddles and running under the sprinklers. Look to Nature as your playground and enjoy the great outdoors.
- Do nothing. Learn to meditate, relax, and simply be without having tv, radio, or any other distractors nearby. You’ll likely find this as challenging as your kids will at first, but with patience and practice, you will all reap the rewards.