Advertisement

Getting Started with Mindfulness for Kids


There is an emerging body of science that suggests that doing mindfulness practices with kids can help increase focus and awareness and improve emotional regulation. I’m pretty confident that we could all benefit from having calmer, more aware kids, and these are skills that will benefit them for years to come. But how in the world are you supposed to help a child enthusiastically engage in a calm “awareness” practice when they won’t even sit still for five seconds?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Have realistic expectations. You can’t expect your five year old to sit for a 10 minute meditation. If you do, you are setting yourself and your kid up for failure. Recognize your child’s gifts, limitations, and personal interests and build a practice around those things. Also, use age appropriate language to talk about mindfulness. A little kid may not know what it means to be mindful, but they probably know what it means to pay attention.
  • Keep it simple & change it up. Don't over-think it. Incorporating mindfulness can be as easy asking your child to list 3 things they can hear. The best part is, there are a ton of excellent resources available on the internet. Try new ideas to find what works well for your kids and let go of what doesn’t work for them.
  • Create a regular practice, but be flexible. Like any new habit or thing we want to cultivate in our lives and in our kids, it takes consistency. You can’t teach your kids to eat healthy by asking them to take a bite of an apple one time and you can’t cultivate mindfulness by doing one exercise. Be consistent, but recognize when to let it go. Like all good things, sometimes it doesn’t go how we hoped and it just isn’t worth the fight.

Here are some simple exercises to get you started:

  • Practice Gratitude. Each day, perhaps at dinner or bedtime, ask your kids to name one thing they were grateful for in the day. This forces them to reflect on the day and find something positive in it.
  • Take a mindfulness walk. Go for a walk in your neighborhood and ask your child to try and notice as many bugs, animals, and birds as they can. This will help them to focus on the details of their environment and stay present.  
  • Breathe with a buddy. Have your child lay on their back. Place a stuffed animal on their belly and have them watch it move up and down as they breathe for one minute. This practice will slow their breathing and help them to be aware of their bodies.

At first, doing these practices may seem a little forced and awkward, but with a little time and consistency, you will notice the awareness you are teaching in these structured moments is carrying over into your child’s everyday life. The ability to slow down and be more aware will help them navigate relationships, school, and tough emotions more effectively so it’s well worth the effort and the little bit of awkwardness you may have to endure to get them started on the journey.

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

20 Sep 2017


By Mandy Cowley

Recent Articles more articles

Mamas Never Get Vacation, Not Even at the Beach!

in Get Out of Town, Things To Do, Family Life, Mari Walker, Summer Fun

Packing up and hitting a beach somewhere along the Gulf seems to be an annual event for most middle- and upper-class families in our area, at least according to my Facebook feed. This year, we decided to join the fray, meeting my in-laws from Virgini

Is This Our New Normal?

in Family Life, Joy Holden

Barry, oh Barry. You arrived late and then left without making much of an impression. And we are grateful! Your tardiness and lack of effort were quite welcome to those of us still suffering from storm shock. Let me just say, on behalf of all the 201

Chocolate Milk Burps, Gummy Bears and the Joy of Childhood

in Crafts and Cooking, Things To Do, Family Life, Amy Delaney

Raise your hand if you LOVE that gummy bear commercial where a group of distinguished looking grown-ups sit around in a boardroom discussing how their gummy bears are “gooder” than others.

Finding My Zen Through Reading

in Kelly Carmena, Health and Wellness, Family Life, Summer Fun, Turn the Page

Lately, I have struggled to find time for training. Between the closing of my daycare, work, and packing for an eventual move to a new house, I have had very little time for myself. In fact, much of my free time has been spent KonMori’ing my current

Featured Listings more listings

Animated Art Balloon Decor and Entertainment

Animated Art Balloon Decor and Entertainment

in Party Entertainment

Animated Art Balloon Decor and Entertainment offers a variety of event services, including professional face painting, balloon twisting , Sparkles the Clown (who was voted Baton Rouge Parents Magazine's #1 entertainer for 2018), airbrush tattoos and

Party Time

Party Time

in Party Supplies

When you're looking for party supplies, you'll want to visit Party Time for all of your needs. They provide party packs, birthday supplies, costumes, holiday decor, decorating classes, and specialty baking needs for any occasion.

Knock Knock Children's Museum

Knock Knock Children's Museum

in Party Venues

All birthday parties include exclusive use of the birthday party room. Birthday disposables include plates, napkins, cups, utensils, paper towels, candles, and cake knife. Also includes a birthday party specialist, lemonade, and water. Price include

Advertisement
Newsletter