Today we talk in this post about mindfulness for kids. Why is it beneficial and how to practice it? And we will leave you some recommendations, so you can practice it with your kids.
Mindfulness for kids offers us a whole series of possibilities to improve their attention very early, to exercise their brain in empathy, calm and emotional management. Likewise, initiating our little ones in the world of meditation makes it easier for them to connect much better with themselves. The purpose is for them to be more skillful when it comes to coping in any environment and especially in everyday life.
One of the goals of teaching mindfulness to kids is to provide them with the skill to develop an awareness of their internal and external experiences, that they learn to recognize their thoughts, as well as their impact on the body. So that they can better control their impulses, develop their emotional intelligence and achieve greater well-being.
The benefits of mindfulness for kids
Children can benefit from the practice of mindfulness meditation and thus can access the experience of Mindfulness or “the here and now”. Meditation practice affirms character in the best sense of the word, calms the mind, calms and enlightens, and even has very definite positive effects on the body.
In the case of the kids, it’s also benefits are associated with an improvement in concentration and, therefore, in academic performance, a decrease in stress, agitation, or discomfort; the development of emotional intelligence; and the promotion of interiority.
The 3 golden rules for teaching mindfulness to kids
Be clear about mindfulness. Mindfulness implies being present, in the here and now, paying attention to what is happening inside or around us without making any value judgment. This means that there is no “correct” way to practice mindfulness, children must find their own balance and choose those exercises with which they feel most comfortable.
Make it fun. The practise of mindfulness should be a fun time that children enjoy while exploring new sensations. If it becomes an extra burden or an imposition, it will lose all its meaning. It is also important that it becomes another exercise in your routine, such as playing games or watching cartoons, it is not convenient to use mindfulness only as an antidote to irritating situations.
Adjust expectations. Young children cannot spend half an hour practicing mindfulness meditation, during the first years of life this practice must have an eminently playful approach, adapting to children’s abilities. This means that you should not expect your child to become a “little Buddha”, that is not the goal, but just include mindfulness in your family routine, dedicating just 5 or 10 minutes a day in the beginning.
Related Post: How to do meditation at home
How to practice mindfulness for kids?
Here are some of the fundamental aspects of mindfulness and the activities that can be carried out with minors to introduce them to this practice:
- Breathing. It anchors us in the here and now. A deep breath can restore calm and make us feel good at any time.
What to do with the children: Build a paper boat. Place it on your belly, lying on your back. Breathe in and make a big wave from your belly to your chest. This game helps children discover that only with a deep breath their body and mind relax.
- Body awareness. We should learn to listen to our body because many times we are absorbed in our thoughts and we forget what the stomach, legs or chest are telling us. What to do with the children: We can dance as we want or feel at that moment. Dancing is one of the best ways to connect with our body and express ourselves.
- Discover beauty in every moment. It is not only in nature, which brings together all possible shapes and colors.
What to do with children: Getting children to stand and look closely at a flower will provide moments of mindfulness. You can also make a list of magic words, that just by listening to them makes you feel good, and then share them with others.
- Time to connect. Spend some time each day to be alone, with ourselves, in the here and now, to see how we feel and to be able to act serenely, without automaticity.
What to do with the children: Once in bed, take a few minutes to be calm and give thanks for the day we have had. We can even do a few breaths, a few waves, together, and create a prayer or song that we recite every night as if it were a mantra.
You can repeat this practice by asking your kids to focus on the changes that occur in their breathing. Later, you can encourage him to use that same sphere when he feels agitated, irritable or stressed, as simply focusing his attention on the movement of the particles allows him to eliminate the situation that has bothered, angry or stressed from their mind.
“What are you waiting for to start teaching mindfulness to your children? You will have a good time with your family and you will help them learn to self-regulate emotionally and to find calm within.”