Teaching Our Kids Mindfulness
What is Mindfulness?
- Mindfulness is paying attention in the moment and being completely present.
- Observing your feelings and watching them pass, without them dictating your actions. Especially the negative ones.
- Being aware of the here and now.
- How does Mindfulness benefit us?
- Mindfulness helps us to practice compassion and to be more nurturing and caring for ourselves and others.
- It helps us to be more accepting and at peace with our imperfections, on the inside as well as the outside.
- It helps us embrace vulnerability by trusting others and ourselves.
- It teaches us forgiveness of all our mistakes.
- To be able to show gratitude for the good moments and grace for the bad ones.
- To approach everyday things with curiosity and intrigue.
- Accept and appreciate that all things, good and bad will come
How does Mindfulness help kids?
- Meditation practice is a form in which can help with mindfulness. It can be beneficial for kids with anxiety, ADHD, autism, depression, and stress. It can also help them become more focused, have better memory skills and academic results. Also helping to control their emotions.
As parents, we know how hard it is to keep our children relaxed and calm, especially the little ones. Here are a few ideas that are interactive and fun for them which will help them want to participate and be involved.
Smell and Taste- Go out into the garden or somewhere you can collect flowers. Have the children close their eyes and focus on just their scent. Smell the different flowers and try and guess what they are. For example, Lavender can be very calming and relaxing and can also help with sleep. This can also help to teach them the different names of flowers. The same goes with taste, close eyes and try different tastes. Kids love to play this with each other as they’ll put something in each others mouth that they know they probably won’t like, like pickles or mustard.
Colour In- Colouring in between the lines takes quite a bit of concentration. There are books for all ages so you can buy the appropriate one for your child. They also love for you to sit and color with them, it’s a nice bonding, a relaxing activity you can enjoy together. It's also a great way for them to learn their colors and explore their creativity. Mandala coloring in books is also great for older kids and even adults. It can be very therapeutic and also a great tool for those boredom moments.
Fairy Zen Garden- My daughter is 3 and loves to get her hands dirty and play in the garden with me. It is a fun and simple way they can create their own little gardens, whether in a terrarium or around a bonsai. Their imaginations run wild and they bring their fairy gardens to life.
Nature- Getting out in nature is also amazing for the mind and body, whether swimming in the ocean, walking through the forest or breathing the fresh crisp air, nature makes us feel alive. Lye on the earth with your child, look to the sky and watch the birds sing, find the life forms in the clouds as they float by, look for shooting stars in the night sky, savor those moments as they will pass in the blink of an eye.
Meditate- Whether in the morning or night, create a time slot to slow the mind and focus on the body. You can either do it yourself or find something on youtube that suits you and your child. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, just take some slow deep breaths, focus on your feet then calves, to thighs, hips and waist, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, face and head. Be at one with your body, love and appreciate it. Tell each other 5 things you are grateful for that day.
I hope you got some new ideas out of this. We love doing all these things together and I hope one day they will teach mindfulness and meditation in schools. Our children deserve to learn about themselves while they're young, to help them in their journey of life to be confident, courageous, accepting and kind. Also to love
Be kind, Be free, Be you