It’s important that you teach your children about mindfulness because it can benefit them all the way into their adult life. You’ll want to teach them to focus on being aware of their present.
Kids can understand new things better when you engage their senses, so the teaching method that you use for helping them to learn about mindfulness should use some or all of the five senses.
You’ll also want to make sure that they understand the concept of practicing non-judgmental thoughts. This helps them to learn how to understand that thoughts and feelings can be seen through a lens of calmness.
Be sure that your teaching method shows them how they can learn to practice mindfulness even if they can’t sit still to do a session. Mindfulness should never be isolated from its intended purpose and taught as a behavioral concept such as a way to get a child to sit quietly.
Depending on the age of the child, it can help to have set up a specific moment during the day for practicing mindfulness. This can help your child get into the daily habit of mindfulness.
The time limit for practicing mindfulness should be set according to the age of the child. The younger the child, the shorter the attention span. Explain mindfulness to your child and practice with him or her until the child gets the hang of it.
Teach your child how they can use mindfulness in their lives to help them handle things such as calming anxiety. There are several things you can do to help teach your kids mindfulness.
The first is through the use of sounds. You can use bells or chimes, music notes or any object that can make a sound that will trail off. Instruct your child that the object you have is going to make a noise.
Share with them that they need to concentrate on the noise until the noise has completely faded. Teach them to breathe slowly in and out and to pay attention to their breathing.
Another way that you can teach mindfulness to children is exactly what adults do and that’s through the focus on mindful breathing. Teach them pay attention to the breath as they exhale and inhale.
The child can count the breaths as they exhale. This practice should be done to the count of five. Teach your child that when they’re feeling upset – such as feeling angry or sad to practice the breathing to help calm the emotions.
Mindfulness can be taught to children as they play. Mindful play can be done through any kind of hands on exercise such as drawing or painting. Help the child to begin the activity by breathing in and out slowly.
Have them share with you what they’re experiencing through the five senses such as what they can hear as they’re playing. Stop the exercise when the child is no longer interested.
Sometimes this might be for just a few seconds but other days, it’ll be for a longer time period. Don’t make a child continue on with a mindful exercise if he shows disinterest. You want mindfulness to be something that they look forward to, not something they feel as if they have to do.