To begin with, mindfulness is a form of meditation that helps us handle life better. However, for some reason, we tend to exclude children from this concept altogether when being mindful is a childhood trait. So, what’s to say we shouldn’t get our children to practice it too? The best part about mindfulness is it doesn’t have to be in the form of a conventional meditation or traditional postures.
At DIY, we provide online Yoga courses for kids in their formative years and we can attest that mindfulness can be practiced without changing anything in your daily routine. After all, it helps manage stress, builds self-esteem, and allows them to appreciate everything around them on a daily basis among many other things.
Let’s dig into how you can introduce mindfulness to your children:
It’s not a task so best not to treat it as one. Don’t let children feel like they are about to add something to their anyway hectic life of school, sports, playtime, and hobbies. Mindfulness is essentially awareness. You are going to teach them to be more aware of what they do on a regular basis.
Let them be aware or conscious of any activity. Eating, for instance, needn’t be rushed or done with distractions. Sit them down with their food. Ask them questions about what they see, smell, feel, and taste. Have conversations about all the sensations around the food they are eating. The idea is to have them focus on their food. Or for that matter, any task at hand.
Breathing is a very important part of meditation. Even mindfulness practices focus on breathing. Practice it yourself alongside your kids. Let it be a family exercise. Teach them to count their breaths in their mind, to pay attention to the rise and fall of the belly as they breathe, and simply relax.
Walk it out
Take your children on daily walks – post-dinner or early in the morning. Use these walks as means to teach kids about observation. Point out everything you see and let them do it too. This not only helps with holding onto their attention for longer periods of time but also makes them aware of the importance of details.
Journaling has been in practice for a long time. It’s a great way of showing gratitude and practicing mindfulness at the same time. Have your kids write down everything they are grateful for that day and whatever made them happy. It gives them a chance at the end of every day to look back and be thankful for what they have.
More than anything, you as an adult and as a parent must practice mindfulness to set an example for your children. Not only will it be a family activity, but it will also lead to a much calmer and healthy lifestyle!