15 Smart Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Children

Mindfulness has become something of a buzzword lately, which is not to dismiss it as a fad. It’s connected to ancient philosophies, the resurgence of which indicates a burning need in today’s hectic day-to-day life.

This highly engaged approach to life can be an intimidating prospect as, ironically, those who might benefit from it the most are the ones seemingly least well situated to do so: namely, the chronically busy, the depressingly overworked, and those whose lives are beset with countless distractions. If you are a working parent, the idea of mindful living can sound like a fantasy. You may be surprised to hear that you are actually in a great position to embrace mindfulness.

For a start, the idea of being too busy for mindfulness is a fallacy. It is not essential to put aside a chunk of time to practice the philosophy. Rather, by definition mindfulness is something you apply to what you’re already doing. Yes, it may slow you down slightly as you work, when you stretch out the moments to consider the meaning and sensation of your activities and interactions. But the increase in imagination and decrease in stress levels that you will enjoy should help you to not just achieve more, but to achieve better. Having a mindful daily ritual is important.

Reasons Why Mindfulness Is Good For Your Children

Now, about those children of yours: like any other activity, integrating your mindful approach to the tasks you’re already doing is just as effective as concocting brand new mindful tasks to pursue. And when you see the way your child’s imagination, emotions, and capabilities improve with the practice, you’ll certainly feel a lot better about your own efforts in that direction.

Research shows the positive effects of mindfulness on mental health and well-being. The practice increases your child’s ability to regulate their emotions, improves attention and helps reduce stress. What is more, mindfulness is considered an effective psychotherapy treatment for adults, children, and teenagers with ADHD, aggression, or anxiety.

You can start as soon as you next get some time together. It’s not something that you want to feel like a chore, so begin by applying the techniques to whatever your little ones would normally do

How To Introduce Mindful Games

If they’re playing, encourage them to pay attention to the details of what’s around them: the sensations of the air, grass, the sound of the bat on the ball or the feeling of sand between their fingers. Also, think about what’s going on inside.

If you’re playing football with them, ask them how it feels when their heart pumps faster, and the air rushes to their lungs. And then ask yourself the same questions.

When doing crafts together, ask your children to focus on the experience. Ask them what thread, fabric or Lego feel like. What does crayon smell of?

Preparing For Sleep With Mindfulness

Happily exhausted by these exercises, you can further develop your mutual sense of mindfulness at bedtime.

Ensure you have good lighting in the room – not too bright, not too dark – and turn off all distractions in the house, from blaring television sets to smartphones just waiting to vibrate with alerts.

Lie down next to your kids, and as a family close your eyes and begin to tighten and relax your muscles. Begin by flexing your toes, and work your way up to your eyebrows, asking each other how it feels all the way.

15 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Children

While your own sense of peace and ability to work will improve before too long, your children may find their emotional wellbeing, their academic performance and their social skills begin to flourish.

Does it sound like something you’d like to try? This infographic mentions fifteen techniques to put to the test. With this approach, your entire family can begin to take bold steps forwards, both as individuals and as a team.

15-ways-to-teach-mindfulness-to-kids

Infographic via Ozicare

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Marilyn Vinch

Marilyn is a freelance writer and a digital nomad currently based in London and born in NYC. She enjoys reading (and writing!) about topics connected to personal development, productivity, and work/life balance. For more about her you can visit www.marilynwriter.wordpress.com

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