As a mum, you want nothing more than to see your kids growing into smart, confident, and self-controlled adolescents. And one way to go is to teach them mindfulness techniques.
“Mindfulness? What’s mindfulness got to do with my child?” I hear you ask.
Well, read on.
First of all, mindfulness is a mental state of being focused on the present moment. It’s all about acknowledging your current feelings, thoughts, and being aware of the reality going on around you.
And research shows that mindfulness can help kids manage conditions like anxiety, autism, ADHD, and disruptive behaviour disorder while increasing their self-control, attention, learning ability, and self-confidence.
How does it lower anxiety? Well, it’s simple.
Mindfulness helps your kids to focus on their present and keep their thoughts from wandering. Anxiety typically comes with worrying, sometimes about future things that would end up taking care of themselves.
So if you want your 8-12-year child to focus their thoughts and energy on the present, pay attention, learn optimally, and be productive, teaching them some mindfulness techniques is a great idea.
Key takeaway: Mindfulness gives your child the ability to self-regulate, helping them pause and refresh whenever they lose control.
You’ve once told someone to take a deep breath whenever they feel anxious, right? It works for your kid too.
Ask your child to close their eyes and place their hand against their stomach. Then have them take 10 deep breaths, one after the other. Tell them to breathe in so deep the air pumps up their stomach before exhaling. Make sure you do this alongside your kid to make it more engaging.
You can both do this while sitting cross-legged or seated. And you could also make it fun by asking them to hold the thumb and middle finger, imagining they’re holding butterflies.
You can try several variations to see which best gets your kid’s juices flowing.
Nature can be so calming, even to your young ones. Ask them where they’d like to go. It may be to the garden, a beach (if you’ve got one close by), or around the neighbourhood. It’s even best to go somewhere new where they’d discover new, exciting things.
Seeing butterflies flutter, colourful flowers rustling in the wind, or waves crashing can help your child ease into the moment. All their thoughts and anxiety melt at that moment, giving way to the beauty of nature they currently experience.
Make it engaging by asking your child to identify the sounds they hear and any interesting living thing you come across.
The glitter jar is extremely helpful when your child feels anxious, nervous, or angry.
Whenever your child feels upset or anxious, ask them to shake the jar. Tell them to imagine that the glitter in the jar represents their thoughts. As they watch them settle, so do their thoughts become calm as well.
This mindfulness technique is helpful for kids of any age, including older ones. Watching the glitter swirl does not only help them understand how their thoughts can become random, but it also helps them focus on the glitter as they settle. This resets their minds once again and can help them fall asleep more easily.