During our recent Mindful Compassion Picnic, my 5-year-old wanted to send “kind thoughts” to her great-grandmother Lainie who lives by herself in Florida. So this morning we decided to put these “kind thoughts” into action. Before we did though, we did some compassion exercises again ourselves.
First, we closed our eyes and imagined something nice we wanted to say to ourselves. My daughter said:
“My body is strong.”
This quite frankly blew me away. She has been sick the last couple of days, so it was incredibly powerful to hear her tell herself that she is strong. We probably could have ended our compassion activity right there (lol!), but we continued. I told her she was right and that she was very strong and would get better soon.It was my turn for a kind thought to myself and I told her that I thought I was a loving mommy. This time my daughter said I was right and we both smiled.
Then we said something kind to say to one another. I told her that she was so thoughtful and she told me I was beautiful, which also were very heartfelt.
And then we decided to send some kind thoughts to her great-grandmother, and think about the letter we wanted to write to her. I scribed as my daughter said in her own words:
“Lainie- You are so beautiful. When are you going to come visit us? You are just like a big heart. Next time I come, I want to see your new house. Love you.”
Next, I asked her how she wanted to write the letter. She said she wanted to write the letter on a big heart. So we cut up a couple of hearts- one for my 5-year old and one for my 2-year old. My older daughter sounded out the entire letter and wrote it herself. My 2-year old didn’t actively engage in the activity and mostly played, but then wanted to draw on her heart. We finished by decorating with some halloween stickers. I had my 5-year old put the letters in the envelope and stamp it, and had her put it in the mailbox. Afterwards, I asked her how she thought her great-grandma would feel once she received the letter, and she said…”Mommy, I think Lainie will be really happy.”
During this activity, I wanted to empower my daughter to make the choices for what she wanted to say and how she wanted to say it. I guided her as she needed, but it was all from her heart. She felt very big and special sending her own letter to her great-grandmother. This will definitely become a repeat exercise in our books.