When is the last time you’ve stared at your face in the mirror (without posing) for more than 30 seconds?
I’ve been bringing a face size mirror to sessions with the children I work with. The most amazing thing is happening, children enjoy watching themselves – do anything.
I’ll say, ” look, this is you working hard,” and they continue to do what they are doing, and check in with themselves to see what they look like. They now have a visual on what it looks like to work hard, poof! MOTIVATION!
When did I realize that a mirror might be a useful tool? I worked with a young boy, whose Mom said he was obsessed with doorknobs. After observing him and seeing he would walk close and back away from the shiny golden doorknobs I joined him. I saw my reflection as if it were a funny mirror. His face would distort depending on the angle of where he looked. The first time he made eye contact with me was to the side in the doorknob.
Classrooms customarily have a full length mirrors in the kitchen area. Children adore looking at themselves in dress up clothes. Many homes I see children in do not have mirrors hung where they can see themselves whenever they want. My advice is stick one or hang one where your child can sit or stand in front of it, in a comfortable private place, like their bedroom. It’s great for a child to check out their own body language. I use it as a tool to teach emotions. I also use it when a child is having any form of a tantrum. I show them what they look like and one of two things happens, they stop or they enjoy their “show.”
While many children on the autism spectrum have challenges with making direct eye contact, I have found that if we are both looking in the mirror and see each other in the mirror, they have no problems looking at me.
Here is an exercise from No Ordinary Moments By Dan Millman.
The Face of a Peaceful Warrior
1. Find a mirror and look at your face for one minute.
- See yourself as if looking at someone you’ve never seen before.
- Look with compassion and stay open to whatever feelings arise.
2. Gaze into your eyes with the feeling that you are looking into the eyes of a peaceful warrior.
Looking at yourself with no judgement is very challenging, practice doing this with your child and see what happens!
Thank you for reading. It’s wonderful to share, if you do this exercise… here is a place to write what you see;)