If you have a vision in your head of trying to get your kid quiet and still on a meditation cushion, mindfulness doesn’t necessarily look like that.
Have you found practicing mindfulness and yoga to be a super positive experience for you as a mom and are looking for your child to reap those same benefits? You can actually never start too young! According to Mayo Clinic, mindfulness is “a type of meditation in which you practice on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment.” If you have a vision in your head of trying to get your kid quiet and still on a meditation cushion, mindfulness doesn’t necessarily look like that at all.
You can help your child practice mindfulness in all sorts of ways. The really great thing is that when you’re more mindful with yourself. It can actually work to alleviate stress and anxiety and can even help with sleep and improve one’s focus as well. So, imagine being able to bring all of these great benefits into your child’s life as well! Sounds pretty cool, right?
So, keep reading if you want to learn 5 ways you can teach your child mindfulness!
5 Take A Mindful Walk In Nature
If you’re looking for a really easy and nice way to help teach your child mindfulness, try taking a nature walk with them. Psychology Today suggests that by taking your kid on a nature walk, you can move at their pace — whether that be a snail’s pace or a bit quicker and really indulge in their “sense of curiosity” as well as “adventure.” You can have them notice the different sounds while they’re outside. Ask them what they hear and if there are any different smells on your walk as well. Bend down to check out the flowers and really take in your surroundings with your child. This will help them to learn to be more present and observant.
4 Really Listen To Something
Sure, there are some kids who live for listening to music and dancing the day away, but have you ever had your child stop and really pay attention to what they hear? Leftbrainbuddha.com suggests that a great way to have your child practice mindfulness is to have them “focus on paying attention to what they can hear”. They suggest that you could use a bell, chimes, a singing bowl or even an app on your phone with really calming sounds. It can be a really cool way to introduce them to pay attention to their surroundings — and that includes different sounds!
3 Practice Gratitude With Them Everyday
One of the main tenets of mindfulness for a lot of people is gratitude and there’s no reason why your child can’t incorporate that into their daily life, with a little help from mom. HuffPost.com suggests, “Teaching our children to appreciate the abundance in their lives,” and not just the toys and screen time that might seem important to them, helps to build that gratitude muscle. They note that even if you make it a ritual at dinner time everyday, where you go around the table and tell the family one thing that you’re grateful for that day, that can really make a difference in being mindful of those positive elements.
2 Get Them Involved In Your Yoga Practice
Another activity that can help teach your kid mindfulness is to have them get involved in your yoga practice with you. Not only will practicing yoga help your child improve their strength, balance and flexibility, but it can also aid in getting a better night’s rest. At its core though, a good yoga practice with your child can help them to learn to pause and focus on their breathe and posing with a strong core. This can help them to develop an appreciation of what their body is really capable of as well as what the combination of posing and breathing actually feels like.
1 Realize They’re Not Going To Be Perfect
Lastly, it’s important to realize that kids are funny creatures who have moods, habits and emotions different from our own, so teaching them to be more mindful with their behavior and how they participate in the world is not just a one and done activity. You may feel like going on a quiet walk with them one day to help them observe and take in nature and they might feel like playing a game of tag or even heading home early to watch some TV and that’s perfectly okay! Learning true mindfulness takes a lot of practice and patience, so remember that whenever you’re looking to take a step forward in the mindfulness department with them.
Stubborn Kids More Likely To Be Successful Later In Life