Teaching Your Child About MindfulnessNovember 18, 2019
Mindfulness is all about paying full attention to something, slowing down and noticing what is going on. When you’re mindful, you’re focused, but in a relaxing way.
That’s why mindfulness is good for you as an adult, as it allows you to take your time and choose carefully selected responses when parenting. But did you know that mindfulness is also great for children too? Introducing mindfulness into a child’s life has been known to help with their attention span, help them calm down when they are upset about something and also help them make better decisions, no matter how big or small.
That’s why we’re encouraging you to incorporate mindfulness into your child’s life with some of our top tips on how to do so below.
1. Establish your own mindfulness techniques
Just like how you can’t teach a child to dance if you’ve never danced yourself, you need to make sure you are practising mindfulness techniques yourself, before encouraging your child to do so. You’ll be surprised how many mindful habits you’re already actually doing in your day to day activities, like listening to your child when they talk about their day, soaking up the sunset, savouring every bite of your favourite meal or even making meals for others.
2. Keep it simple
Mindfulness is a big word, especially for young children. Mindfulness is all about noticing your own thoughts, and what’s going on around you right now. Using key words like ‘awareness’, ‘noticing’ and ‘right now’ can help you to gently reinforce the message of mindfulness to your children, as well as helping them to learn more about it through words they understand.
3. Practise techniques
S.T.O.P. is a great technique to use with young children.
S: Stop. Ask your child to stop whatever they are currently doing.
T: Take three breaths. Instruct them to take a few deep breaths.
O: Observe: Ask your children to tune into their physical sensations, their surroundings and their emotions. Ask them to identify what these are, and what they’re feeling.
P: Proceed. Continue with whatever they were doing, but with more awareness.
Above everything else, you should always remember that mindfulness is meant to be positive, fun and simple. It’s all about you and the children tuning in to their current surroundings and emotions and being aware of them regularly, so have fun doing it!