Mindfulness is a broad term. It is a state of being aware, attentive, and advert. Mindfulness meditation is a kind of practice in which your center of interest is in being observant of your emotions and sensibility.
This means whatever you are attending, in that particular moment, really matters. Meditation has been known to help with several issues — ranging from stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypertension, heart diseases, and chronic pain, etc.
When it comes to its benefits, mindfulness has no age, gender, or race distinction. Therefore, It is as essential to children as it is for adults. The main motive of teaching mindfulness to children is to improve their emotional quotient, perception, and mannerism.
Every parent wants their children to be attentive, live in the moment, stay soothe, and make better judgments.
First of all:
- To teach mindfulness to your children, you need to exercise it yourself first. Ask them to join you when you meditate. Younger children at the age of 7 can start with one minute of silence and set a positive and healthy mind for the day, and expand their practice from there.
- Mindfulness is a massive word for children, and it’s confusing too. So, keeping it simple will help. It’s all about observing the thoughts, emotions, sensations, ideas, and anything happening right now at that specific moment.
- In the end, if your child is not willing to do an activity, don’t force it. Wait for the right time to execute it.
Following are some suggestions for how you can define mindfulness to your children:
- Paying Attention:
The easiest method to practice mindfulness is to ask them to pay full attention. You can use any prop to make them attentive, a bell, a collection of chimes, any sound, a phone app, anything. Guide them that you will make the sound, and they will listen to it until they can no longer hear it (set a time limit for 30 seconds or a minute). Through this method, they will be able to pay attention to whatever is happening in the surrounding.
- Breathing practice:
Ask your children to stay still and lay flat, start focusing on your breathing, focus on your mind when your chest is rising and falling with each breath, think of nothing else. When your attention diverts, bring your focus back to breathing.
- Walking meditation:
Children love to walk around all day long, without any worries and tension. Ask them to notice how their weight moves as they take their step. Ask them to walk as they would typically walk, making sure of staying at a slow pace with full attention and an open mind.
- Practice thankfulness:
Gratitude is an integral bit of mindfulness. Teach them how to be thankful for the blessings they have, appreciate the fullness of their lives. Their sole center shouldn’t be toys and goodies that they desire. Develop in them a habit of sharing one particular thing that they are grateful for every day. It will broaden their mind, soul, and will make them humble.
- Create a glitter jar:
sometimes they will get confused about the way things work. To eliminate this fear, find them a jar or plastic bottle. Ask them to decorate it the way they like. Fill the jar up with water. After that, add clear glue, food coloring, and glitter, then seal the lid.
Ask them to shake it up and watch the storm. But soon, if you sit peacefully and breathe and watch the disturbances,
it settles just like our minds.
Above all, try to have fun and enjoy it with your kids. In this way, they will feel free to communicate. They will be comfortable telling you things they are normally afraid of. They will have a different mindset about their parents. They will learn to pay attention, be respectful, live in the moment, accept their flaws, and try to be a better person.
Great sources for additional information:
By Rehan Jamshed