Exploring mindfulness with your child offers numerous benefits. Mindfulness can be used to calm a child, increase their concentration and even improve their sleep.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation which helps you to focus on the present moment. This means paying attention to your body, as well as your thoughts and feelings in order to achieve a calmer presence.
Mindfulness is particularly useful for children because it can help them to develop important coping skills for their emotions. If you want to explore mindfulness with your child, here are some great tips from an independent school in Banstead…
Encourage your child to take time each day to practice mindfulness. Show them how to slow down and observe their surroundings. This could be anywhere; in the car, at the park or at home. Pause and remind your child to tune into their senses. What can they see, hear, smell and feel? – Share your observations with each other. Did you each notice something different?
A really effective mindfulness technique is paying more attention to your breathing. Ask your child to focus on the sensation of the air going in and out of their body. Encourage your child to put their hands on their chest and feel it move up and down with each breath. After you have practiced this for around five minutes, ask your child to share their thoughts and feelings. Do they feel more relaxed? This breathing exercise is particularly helpful if your child suffers from anxiety.
Mindful eating is great activity to practice with your children. Let them choose a favourite food and then tell your child to take their time and use all of their senses to really savour it. Instruct them to smell the food, observe the texture and describe the flavour. Practicing a more mindful approach to eating can enhance the enjoyment of meals, reduce overeating and aid digestion.
Bedtime is a perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness with your child, particularly if your child has trouble sleeping. Try a mindfulness technique called the Body-scan meditation to help your child relax. Ask your child to close their eyes and lay comfortably in bed. Then ask them to gradually observe different areas of their body. What feelings or sensations do they have in each part of their body and how does their body feel against the mattress or bedding materials? The purpose of this exercise is to ease any worrying thoughts that may be keeping your child awake.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post