If you have an interest in mindfulness meditation, perhaps to help your child deal with the problems in school or to help them deal with their own emotions, you may be surprised at how well it can benefit kids. While there is no magic button that will make them stop worrying, there are many programs that can be used to teach them to observe their feelings and thoughts. While their initial reaction may be to become anxious when they feel certain negative feelings, it is important to try and remain calm. Doing so will help them realize that their negative feelings are a result of the way that they are thinking rather than some underlying cause.
Mindfulness Meditation For Kids
For example, a lot of children seem to be overly sensitive to loud noises, particularly drums or shots that their parents are making. When you introduce mindfulness techniques into their lives, it is often best to start by paying attention to how they react to the sound of the shot or drum beat rather than concentrating on what they are feeling. While you may be concerned about how they are feeling, paying attention to how they are breathing will help you realize that they are likely simply tensed up from the effort of keeping up with the drumbeat. This type of mindful observation can then be applied to other situations later.
Another example of a tool that is useful for mindfulness for kids is a Mindfulness Worksheet. Mindfulness meditation for kids is easy to put together using the worksheet template that has been developed by JoAnn Simmons, an instructor of mindfulness. Using this worksheet, kids can focus their minds and bodies on breathing deeply and slowly. In order to do this effectively, however, the child must be able to observe his or her breath. A mindfulness worksheet, with its list of mindfulness exercises, can help guide the child in the proper direction as he or she concentrates on putting together a mindful movement, such as breathing deeply into the chest and slowly releasing all tension from the body.
It is very helpful to teach your children mindfulness meditation, but it also helps if you can get them involved in the process. In order for this to work, though, the whole family must be on board. Even younger children can benefit from guided meditation; in fact, many experts believe that cosmic kid’s yoga can have a significant positive effect on children as young as six years of age. Guided meditation is easier for kids to do because it involves the whole family: parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends. Furthermore, the process is very encouraging and cosmic in nature.
To make a mindfulness meditation for kids even more effective, you can take it outside, such as at the beach. Bring along the worksheet and ask the whole family to take a fifteen-minute walk while focusing on your breathing and the sounds of the ocean. When finished, you and your children should feel energized and refreshed. Parents should remember to set the goals for the walk; when walking through the park or down the beach, you can tell your kids to go slower and listen to the waves rolling in the sand rather than beat a path. This can help kids learn to calm their body and mind by paying attention to the environment and the physical sensations of movement.
Another exercise that you can teach mindfulness to kids is yoga. There are much yoga poses that you and your kids can practice, including the warrior, Downward Facing Dog, or the Tree Pose. You can teach your children how to move their bodies and focus on the breath while looking up at the sky, and you can teach them how to relax their muscles. This is probably one of the best ways to calm stress and anxiety.
If you want to get more creative, you can use an affirmation or worksheet to remind yourself of the present moment. Mindfulness meditation for kids can include statements like “I am happy,” “I am calm,” and “I am here.” Once your children have practiced the affirmation for a few weeks, you can pair it with a worksheet or journal to remind your kids that they are in the present moment. After every activity, they take part in, write the statement out on the worksheet or journal to reinforce the present moment.
While there is no right way to teach mindfulness for kids, these practices can be helpful. Try one or two, or even mix them up in different activities. Just keep in mind that mindfulness is about being present, and being fully present is about being fully present. With consistent practice, you will find that the benefits of mindfulness for kids will strengthen and deepen.