How are our kids spending their days? Soccer practice, violin lessons, SAT tutoring—not to mention school and homework. Plus, they're somehow finding nine hours a day to tap away on their devices. By scheduling and structuring our kids' lives and allowing them massive amounts of screen time to "decompress" after all the structured activities, we teach them that filling their days and their minds with information and distraction is more valuable than connecting with themselves and with others.
Left unchecked, that absence of connection could result in anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation and lack of self-worth—which in turn could lead to self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse and eating disorders. Kids self-medicate to ease the pain of disconnection, or parents medicate them to alleviate the visible symptoms.
So how do we head off this vicious cycle? Creating meaningful connection with our kids is one of the most powerful factors in supporting their mental and physical health. And doing so might be easier than you think because a little goes a long way.
Here are seven ways to integrate mindful moments into everyday family life.