10/13/2010 08:59 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

8 Ways to Raise a Mindful Child (PHOTOS)

Parents are rightfully concerned about the capacity their children have to pay attention, express empathy and cope with the stresses that infiltrate their lives. Should we then coerce our children onto meditation cushions? Impose artificial silence, stillness or philosophical indoctrination? Before you do that, take a closer look.

Children are exemplars of the art of being. Wherever they are, they are completely immersed: in mud, in make believe, in laughter, in tears or in spaghetti sauce up to their eyeballs. Without a bit of self-consciousness, they lose themselves in what they are; they literally throw themselves away. This is the kind of losing in which mindfulness is found.

Without making a big deal about it, parents can gently encourage everyday actions that nourish and grow attention, empathy and self-care.

Mindful children grow up in mindful homes.

8 Ways To Raise A Mindful Child