Mindfulness is defined as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” Mindfulness helps children focus on what is happening now and keeps their thoughts from drifting, helping them build skills like focus and self-control. Here’s where to start when teaching your kids about mindfulness:
It’s hard to teach someone else a skill if you have never done it yourself. Practice mindfulness yourself by starting slow, such as a meditation practice for 5-10 minutes each day. Try incorporating mindfulness into your everyday activities. It is all about being fully present in the moment, whether it be savoring every bite of your dessert, enjoying a beautiful sunset on your commute, or listening intently when your child tells you about their day.
The purpose of teaching mindfulness to children is to help them become more aware of their thoughts, experiences, and emotions. It should not be used with the expectations of eliminating tantrums, calming active children, or quieting your household. Calmness and quiet moments are parts of mindfulness, but they are not the overall purpose. If your children seem uninterested in your lesson, don’t force it.
There are many activities you can do with your child to introduce mindfulness. A few of them include the following:
Take a Walk
When the weather is nice, take a stroll through your neighborhood or a local park with your kids. Designate a few minutes of the walk to stay silent and pay attention to all the sights and sounds around you.
It can be complicated teaching children how to pay attention to their breathing. Try the “breathing buddy” exercise, where the child lies on their back and sits a stuffed animal on their stomach. Have them focus their attention on the rise and fall of the stuffed animal as they breathe in and out.
A great way to teach children to appreciate the abundance in their lives rather than the numerous things they want is to practice gratitude. Do so by sharing one thing each family member is thankful for each day.
Walton Academy is always striving to provide a consistent, nurturing and innovative environment for our students. We understand that early childhood education plays a large role in your child’s development, so we ensure they receive a high-quality education. With small classrooms and highly qualified teachers, you can be sure your child will receive individualized instruction, character education, and social-emotional habits.
Walton Academy firmly believes that an environment with minimal distractions is key to student success. To achieve an optimal learning environment and experience, we require each child to undergo our enrollment screening process. During our enrollment screening process, students are observed and assessed academically, behaviorally, and socially. Our enrollment screening ensures that our classroom environment remains focused and that each student can excel and reach their full potential. Contact us today to learn more!