9 Ways To Teach Mindfulness To Your Kids
Mindfulness allows each of us to dwell in the present moment, be attentive to the surroundings and act skillfully. Although we usually learn this concept in adulthood, teaching our kids mindfulness techniques at an early age is a win-win for the longer run.
However, before you teach mindfulness to your children, it is important to note a few things:
1. Showing them your own practice puts their mind in a practice mode. So if you want to teach them meditation or a particular game mindfully, they need to perceive the same pattern from parents or guardians.
2. Your expectations shall be kept down at the bottom. If you think that you are teaching mindfulness to control tantrums or control anger issues then it is suggested to keep the number of expectations aside.
It is because you are teaching mindfulness to your children so that they can develop their inner and outer awareness and manifest emotions in a subtle manner. Moreover, you shouldn’t even force them or control their actions, let it move smoothly in a flow.
How To Teach Your Child Mindfulness: 10 Smart Ways
1. Help Them Name Body Sensation & Thoughts
‘It seems like you are a little nervous about your exam tomorrow.’ or ‘Do you feel happy when you go out with your friends in the park to play?’ or ‘You teacher is not happy with your performance in school. How do you feel about it?’
Such discussions and questions make the child realise his or her inner experience and they can become much aware about their thoughts, sensations and actions.
2. A Mindful Bedtime Routine
This is a beautiful way to teach your kids mindfulness right when they reach their bed to sleep. Body scan meditation could be a really good start. In this, ask them to lie down with their eyes closed and bring attention to their body from top to bottom or reverse for the same.
In case they are taking time to understand this type of meditation, teach them other bedtime rituals like reading stories, brushing teeth and praying before sleeping.
3. Mindful Walking
Mindful walking is basically a walk with your mind active and noticeable for your surroundings. Ask your child to be active to every change happening, people, sounds that they hear or sensation which occurs. It is meant to keep your heart and mind open while staying active in the present moment and enjoying every bit of it.
4. Practice Gratitude
Mindfulness for children also shows up when they begin appreciating little things in life and be thankful for them, be it family members, food, school, toys or anything that they don’t notice but enjoy thoroughly.
This habit could be developed every day before dinner and ask them to share one thing every day that they are grateful for. Make sure that if you want to teach mindfulness to your kids, you also show them in their practice as we mentioned before.
5. Counting Breaths
The child doesn’t need to sit in a specific position to enjoy this technique. He or she can sit anywhere in a comfortable position and even lie down on the bed. Now place hands on the belly and start to inhale-exhale. Along with it, counting could be done loudly in the beginning and quietly later.
6. Teach Them Journaling
Ask your child to log in the daily activities and they can write about the whole day or a specific part of it. While they recall the moment, you can ask them to write associated feelings with it.
It is required that you don’t ask them to dig more and more about it, let them express by their own means so that they slowly become aware of their activities as well as feelings and try to make the best out of each day.
7. Blindfold Taste Test
Wrap a scarf around your kid’s eyes and ask them to be attentive to the taste buds. Give them different types of food like fruits, raw or cooked vegetables, porridge or others, and let them savor them all while being in the present moment. Let them guess the items and enjoy the particular way of teaching mindfulness with fun.
8. Listen To The Bell
It would be great if you have a wind chime or a real bell at home but if not, you can download an app that can ring a bell for you. Ring the bell and let it make some sound for about 10 seconds or more.
Now tell your kid to listen to it carefully and listen to it once again when they close their eyes. They can even count the number of times the bell rang and tell you. It would be interesting to bring variations and let them keep calm during the change.
9. Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique
Teach your kid to pay attention to every muscle in different parts of the body. The overall idea is to relax the muscles which go tensed and lose them without getting stressed.
This could be easily done when the kid is lying on the bed and tightening one of the muscles like calves, feet or shoulders and relaxing them. It could also be done with guides or tutorials for better understanding and teaching your kid every step of it.
Let Them Be Who They Are!
Before concluding easy ways to teach mindfulness to your kids, we recommend you to tell kids to be mindful in their own way and explore their ideas while going at their own pace. We hope that this blog will help your kids become more mindful in their life ahead and be in the moment.