Although mindfulness isn’t new because it has roots in the Buddhist tradition, it has recently become popular in the West.
Being mindful is paying close attention to what is happening around you.
It’s simple to miss what’s happening around you in today’s fast-paced society. Everyone is either distracted by something that happened yesterday or concerned about something that might happen tomorrow and as a result, they are missing out on what is unfolding right now.
Children, like adults, are often distracted and frequently unconscious of their surroundings. This issue can result in complications such as difficulty managing their emotions or controlling their behavior.
As a result, several schools are practicing mindfulness counseling. Schools that teach mindfulness skills had fewer discipline issues and higher levels of student engagement.There are various exercises for teaching youngsters to be more mindful. These exercises can be tailored to the needs of pre-schoolers to teens.
Here are five easy but effective methods for teaching your child mindfulness:
1. Count Breaths
Teach your child to focus on breathing as a simple technique to calm their thoughts. Encourage them to take a few deep breaths and close their eyes. When they inhale, tell them to think “one” and “two” when they exhale. Teach them to come back to counting whenever their thoughts stray.
Make sure that the exercise does not alter their breathing patterns. Instead, it should be about assisting them in being more aware of their breaths and how their body and lungs feel when they are mindful.
2. Write a Journal
Ask your child to journal their daily activities, or encourage them to tell you about them so you can note them. Choose a specific period of the day, such as their morning or afternoon routine, and ask them to recollect what they did.
They may be vague the first few times they complete this practice, such as “I had recess, and then we had math class,” but don’t correct them or dig for further specifics. Instead, make them commit to doing it again tomorrow.
With practice, kids should be able to describe their day in greater detail. Additionally, they may come up with more well-structured phrases. This activity encourages children to focus more on the present moment and prevents them from stumbling through the day, only partially aware of what they’re doing.
3. Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Learning to focus on the muscles in different places of the body is the key to progressive muscular relaxation. The goal is to know how to relax muscles that might have tensed up without the person even realizing it.
To do this, ask your child to lie down. Then instruct them to contract and release a set of muscles one at a time, beginning with their feet and moving on to their calves. Continue until you reach their head. Depending on your child’s age, you can try various scripts. Additionally, audio programs and online tutorials can guide your kid through the process.
4. Practice Yoga
Yoga is a great approach to help your child become more conscious of the connection between their body and mind. Several kids’ yoga poses can train their minds to be more present. Enroll your youngster in a yoga class, or look for kid-friendly yoga tutorials to watch at home.
Additionally, you can do yoga together and include it in your routine. Yoga will help your youngster learn coping skills, just like other mindfulness exercises
Moreover, yoga breathing exercises and relaxation methods can assist kids’ stress management. Teaching children healthy stress reduction techniques is an essential life skill that will benefit them as youngsters and adults.
Furthermore, yoga for children can improve their self-esteem significantly. Young children might feel a sense of personal empowerment by mastering a pose or strengthening their balance and flexibility.
5. Pretend To Be Walking on Ice
Teach your youngster to be more aware of their own body and movements. Tell them to pretend they are walking on thin ice and must move slowly and cautiously around the room. Pretending to be a radio announcer will help you become more conscious of their motions. For example, saying something like, “You’re picking your right leg up gently and carefully placing it back down.”
You may use numerous other activities to teach your child to walk slowly and deliberately. For example, you can give them a balloon throw and instruct them to treat it carefully to prevent it from shattering because it is a fragile egg.
According to research, mindfulness techniques help children’s brains and behavior. Their concentration spans lengthen. Additionally, their mental health improves, and their stress tolerance increases. It’s crucial to keep in mind that practicing mindfulness should be ongoing. Spend time daily engaging in the mindfulness activities mentioned above with your child. Your child will learn the importance of living in the moment when you prioritize it.