Kid TV shows and movies are loaded with helpful characters who teach children about life and how to positively navigate the world around them. One of the more thoughtful new kids’ series is Stillwater, a film debuting on AppleTV+ in December that helps children understand their feelings, ultimately giving them the tools to face their own challenges.
Based on author Jon J. Muth’s Zen Shorts, the series features siblings Karl, Addy and Michael who have a very special next door neighbor: a wise panda named Stillwater (played by James Sie). His friendship and stories give them new perspectives on the world, themselves and each other. Aside from Stillwater’s big heart, the animated panda has a message that feels especially fresh for a kids’ show—and couldn’t be more timely.
Stillwater shows that practicing mindfulness—being aware of what he’s doing, while doing it with kindness—is profoundly restorative, and an awesome life skill for children to master.
“The reality is many of us put our kids in front of the TV to give ourselves a rest and moms should never feel guilty about that because we need a break, too,” says Mallika Chopra, meditation teacher and author of Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement and More. “But, there are true benefits in watching these episodes and having the dialogue with your kids. Stillwater, the character, captures the essence of peace, being non judgmental and understands the importance of listening. Through these examples, kids will relate and learn lessons on positivity.”
Ready to start practicing mindfulness with your kids—or on your own? Here’s where to start.
The key is not to feel intimidated by mindfulness. “At its most basic level it’s simply taking a deep breath, being aware of your body and exhaling,” says Chopra. “Don’t be intimidated by research and reviews about mindfulness. Just pause and be mindful of your surroundings.”
Also, the best way to get your little ones involved in mindfulness is not to force it. Instead, find a practice that works for you and lead by example for your children. If you find they are ready to dive into mindfulness techniques, you can try this routine together:
- Stand or sit comfortably, placing your feet on the ground.
- Take a deep breath, while telling yourself that you feel safe and grounded.
- Take a second deep breath and think of one thing you’re thankful for.
- Take a third breath while focusing on the top of your head and the air around you. say “I am.”
Check out the Stillwater trailer and find out how to apply for an advance screening:
Stillwater — Official Trailer | Apple TV+
Stillwater arrives on Apple TV+ December 4. Join AppleTV+ for an advance screening on Thursday, December 3, at 4 p.m. PT and ET at ticketing.apple.com. Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached, after which registration will close.