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

A Playdate-Style Birthday Party

in Family Life, Crafts and Cooking, Party, Mari Walker

Birthday parties for littles can add up fast. For a few Benjamins, you can take them and a few friends to a bounce place or rent a bounce house for your backyard. We didn’t start big parties like that for my older daughter until she was about five.

Spring Household Hazardous Materials Collection Day

in Health and Wellness, Things To Do, Family Life, Local News

East Baton Rouge Parish residents can drop off household hazardous materials for safe disposal at the upcoming Household Hazardous Materials Collection Day on Saturday, May 18.

Experience BIG fun in our Social Skills Summer Camps!

in Sponsored Content

As the school year ends and summer begins, your children will find themselves in a variety of new social environments–camps, playgrounds, beaches and family or friends' houses, to name a few. 

Bunny Bunny Goes Missing!

in Mari Walker

It’s hard to know what toy your kid will latch onto, what will become the irreplaceable lovey or important, gotta-take-it-everywhere trinket.

Featured Listings more listings

Parkview Baptist School

Parkview Baptist School

in Private Schools

Parkview Baptist provides an education with an eternal foundation.

EBR Parish Library

in Day Camps

While the EBRP Libraries do not offer Summer Camps, they do still offer a wide variety of fun summer activities for kids of all ages! Check out the Events Calendar. Space is limited for each program. Please call to register.

LSU ECE Lab Preschool Summer Camp

LSU ECE Lab Preschool Summer Camp

in Day Camps

LSU ECE PRESCHOOL SUMMER CAMP June 3rd – July 26th

Advertisement
Newsletter