There’s been a lot written about the benefits of mindfulness for kids. It’s been established that as a parent, it can help you be more present when it comes to dealing with your children. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that mindfulness is also a skill which offers great benefits to your children. It can help them pay attention, calm down when they’re upset, and make better choices and decisions.
Mindfulness for Kids | 6 Things to Keep in Mind
In this article:
- Make It Simple
- Practice with Sound
- Take a Mindful Walk
- Be Mindful of Eating
- Meditate Together
- Do a Bedtime Body Scan
1. Make It Simple
The ways to help your children become more mindful need to be adjusted depending on their age. A good rule of thumb though is to keep it as simple as possible. Tell your children mindfulness means noticing or being aware of their thoughts, how their body is feeling, what their ears are hearing, and what their eyes are seeing right at that moment.
2. Practice with Sound
A fun and easy way to help your children practice mindfulness is to use a particular sound to capture their attention. This sound can be anything you want so make it fun!
Chimes, a bell, or an app on your smartphone are all pleasant options. Tell your children when they hear the sound, they need to listen carefully until they can’t hear it anymore. Even though this usually lasts for only 30 to 60 seconds, it’s a good way for children to start becoming more aware of what is going on around them.
3. Take a Mindful Walk
When was the last time you took a walk with the idea of simply being aware of what was happening around you? Take your children with you on a mindful walk. This can be anywhere convenient: your neighborhood, the woods, or a local park.
As you walk with your children, make it a point of asking them if they see, hear, or smell things they haven’t before. Another important way to make your walks more mindful is to set aside a short time — about a minute — to be silent. The idea here is for everyone to pay attention to what’s going on around them.
4. Be Mindful of Eating
Everyone loves good food and the pleasure it brings to your body’s senses. Your children are no exception and can rush through their meals simply because the food tastes so good.
Choose one food your children love — a small piece of chocolate, a raisin, or a bite of ice cream are all good choices. Have your children become fully aware of how they are feeling as they eat it. Help them with this process by having them sit comfortably and close their eyes. Help them take the time to look at the food and smell it carefully before putting it in their mouths. Give them the words to help them notice what they are tasting as they slowly eat it.
5. Meditate Together
Meditation is one of the best ways adults can use to become more mindful, but it can be hard to do when there are children in the house! Instead of getting upset with the inevitable interruptions or stopping your meditation session, encourage your children to join in with you.
Meditations for kids can help your children become more aware of how their bodies are feeling as they slow down and focus. During these meditation sessions together, you can also help your children learn to recognize when their breathing is more relaxed, excited, scared, or whatever they might be feeling at a certain time.
6. Do a Bedtime Body Scan
Sometimes, it can be hard for children to calm down at bedtime. Have them lay down in a relaxed position while you guide them along on a body scan. Using a calm and low voice, encourage your children to check in with each body part to see how it is feeling.
Wondering how to get started on practicing mindfulness for kids? Get them to follow along to this breathing exercise from the Meditation Channel:
Explaining mindfulness to your kids is a challenging yet fun task for parents. To make the concept of mindfulness easier to understand for the kids, seek out ways to work it into your daily routine. With the gentle ideas outlined above, you’ll soon see your children become more in tune with their bodies and more aware of the world around them.
Do you have other ideas on mindfulness for kids? Let us know in the comments section below!
Up Next: Healthy Eating Habits For Kids