Mindfulness for Kids: Tips to Help Them Stay Calm and Focused
In today’s fast-paced world, children are often bombarded with various distractions that can affect their mental and emotional well-being. As parents, it is our responsibility to teach them how to be mindful, to live in the present moment, and to stay focused on what truly matters. Mindfulness is not just a buzzword – it’s a powerful tool that can help children develop self-awareness, compassion, and resilience. In this blog post, we’ll explore some useful mindfulness tips for kids that you can implement at home or school. These tips will help them develop the skills to manage stress, handle uncertainty, and cultivate positive relationships.
Practise deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing is a simple yet effective technique that can help kids calm their mind and body. Encourage your child to take deep breaths by inhaling slowly through their nose and exhaling through their mouth. You can also try engaging your child in a “breathing buddy” game, where they can hold a stuffed animal or toy on their belly and watch it rise and fall as they breathe in and out.
Walking meditation is a fun and easy way to help kids stay present and focused. Ask your child to walk slowly, paying attention to their body and surroundings. Encourage them to notice the sensation of their feet on the ground, the air moving past their skin, and the sound of their breath. This activity can be done anywhere, indoors or outdoors.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can help children cultivate a positive mindset. Encourage your child to write down or verbalise three things they are grateful for each day. This simple practice not only enhances their emotional well-being but also helps them focus on the good things in their life.
Mindful eating encourages children to pay attention to their body’s sensations and to be present while they eat. Encourage your child to eat slowly, savouring each bite, and noticing how the food tastes and smells. This practice can help them develop healthier eating habits and make them more mindful about their food choices.
Most children love music and sounds. Encourage your child to listen to various sounds attentively, asking them to identify familiar and unfamiliar noises. Afterward, they should try to recreate the sounds heard, maybe with simple makeshift tools like boxes and sticks. The practice promotes patience and creativity.
Incorporating mindfulness activities in a child’s daily routine can help them develop emotional intelligence, increase their attention span, and promote a positive outlook on life. The above mindful activities for kids can be incorporated into various environments, and children of all ages, and when practised consistently, they can lead to noticeable improvements that will benefit them in the long term.
It’s essential to remember that mindfulness is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every child has different needs, and what works for one child may not necessarily work for another. The key is to experiment with different activities and to find what resonates with your child. Keep in mind that mindfulness is a valuable life skill that takes time and patience to develop, so it’s essential to be consistent and to practise it as a family. By incorporating these tips into your child’s daily routine, you can help them stay calm, focused and improve their overall well-being.
Want to know more? Discover more about the benefits of scientific mindfulness meditation for parenting in Dr. Elise Bialylew’s book The Happiness Plan 💛
"If we wish to be healthy, happy and clear-minded, we need to upgrade our “inner technology”of attention to meet the demands of our increasingly complex world. That's where mindfulness comes in.."
- DR ELISE BIALYLEW
about the HOST AND FOUNDER OF
MINDFUL IN MAY:
DR ELISE BIALYLEW
Elise Bialylew is the author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Plan, and founder of Mindful in May, the world’s largest online global mindfulness fundraising campaign.
A doctor trained in psychiatry, turned social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, she’s passionate about supporting individuals and organisations to develop inner tools for greater wellbeing and flourishing, and offers workshops and training at The Mind Life Project.
Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and on Australian Television. She was recently recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a 2019 AFR Women of Influence.
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