Kids of all ages can benefit from learning mindfulness techniques which can promote happiness and help them learn to manage stressful situations. Studies have even shown mindfulness can help kids focus and control tantrums. Plenty of schools have already started working it into their school day, but what is mindfulness and how can you help your kids to become more mindful at home too?
Mindfulness is a simple meditation technique that helps you learn to pay full attention to the present moment in an accepting, nonjudgmental manner. The great thing about learning how to do this as a child is that it then becomes a habit that you can rely on throughout your life and can have a huge impact on self-regulation, judgment and patience during childhood and into adulthood. As anyone who has ever had to encourage their kids to ‘wait a minute’ will know, this benefits kids and adults too.
A few ways we can help our kids learn is to practice mindful awareness during everyday activities, like walking and eating, to teach kids to truly be in that moment and notice what is happening around them.
One suggestion we love is the idea of a "listening walk" as a family. Encourage your kids to think about what they can hear and see and even how the ground feels under their feet. How does jumping in a big puddle make them feel, why do they like it?
Baking or making with kids is another fantastic way to help them to notice what they are doing. How does the dough make their fingers feel? What can they smell etc?
Even bath time can become part of a mindful practice. Practice blowing soapy bubbles with your kids and show them how much fun it is when they learn to do it. What can they notice about how the bubbles look?
Mindfulness is something that Francesca of The HappySelf Journal is very passionate about. She became increasingly aware of the press around kids growing up stressed and mental health issues being on the rise and wanted to create something that would give children the skills that would help them cope better with the busy world they were growing up in. In her productivity consultancy she saw a desire for clients to return to pen and paper, become more mindful with technology and work on their mindset. “It seemed a shame to wait until you were an adult to figure out the importance of mindset and mindfulness and with so many proven techniques shown to support our wellbeing and happiness I really wanted to bring these together in a child friendly way” says Francesca. The result is a beautiful, inspiring journal that kids absolutely love and want to fill in. The perfect way to encourage them to take a few minutes everyday to develop happiness promoting habits such a gratitude, kindness and a growth mindset.
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