Say the words “mindfulness retreat” and one imagines meditation, sunsets and spending time alone or with a partner.
Such trips are perceived to be for adults on a personal journey to wellness. It may come as a surprise, then, that some resorts offer retreats for parents to learn about mindfulness together with their children.
One such example is Como Uma Canggu, a beachfront hotel boasting soft volcanic sand and magnificent rock formations located in Bali, Indonesia.
The resort’s first retreat for families will take place in November 2019. Parents and children will participate in a four-day, three-night program that’s meant to help strengthen bonds within the family, organizers told CNBC’s Global Traveler.
Mindfulness is a practice that encourages people to become more aware of how they’re feeling and to be present in each moment – a therapy that’s in demand in an era of perpetual screen-time and smartphone dependence.
Participants will have nine sessions with Cheen Tan, the program’s mentor.
Tan, who also teaches at a Como Shambhala studio in Singapore, lamented that many people remain glued to their phones even when they’re out with family members. While the retreat in November will not include an enforced technology detox, mindfulness can teach parents to be fully present with their children.
Some parents have also requested that he teach their kids meditation tips in order to manage stress, he said.
They would ask: “Hey, can you do one for our kids so that, you know, they’re not overly stressed over the idea of an exam, a national exam,” Tan explained.
“I said, ‘Hey, why not get away as well?'” he added.
The retreat will give families the chance to learn together in a relaxed environment. Parents will have the opportunity to teach and lead their children, Tan said. The program is best suited for kids between nine and 15 years old, according to Como.
Noting that children tend to have a shorter attention span, Tan said sessions will be fun for the young ones, and will engage all five senses.
Participants will pick up techniques including awareness of breath and body scanning, and the adults will have a separate session on “mindful parenting.”
A typical day would include mindfulness practice in the morning and evening, with free time to enjoy island life through surfing or massage classes in the afternoon.
And of course, there’s always time to catch an amazing Balinese sunset.