There are many benefits in practicing mindfulness with your child. Mindfulness can be used to de-stress, increase concentration and improve sleep.
Mindfulness is a relaxation technique, which helps you to focus on the present moment. This means paying attention to your senses, your thoughts and your feelings, in order to achieve a calmer presence and improve your mental health.
For children mindfulness is particularly helpful for increasing emotional resilience and developing important coping skills. If you want to teach your child mindfulness, here are some great tips from an independent school in Northamptonshire.
Take time each day to practice mindfulness by slowing down and observing your surroundings. This could be anywhere; at the shops, at the park or simply 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 and you may be surprised to find that you have both noticed something different.
Teach your child to pay attention to their breathing, focusing on the sensation of the air going in and out of their body. Encourage your child to put their hands on their tummy and feel 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 is helpful for relaxation, particularly if your child is stressed or anxious.
Mindful eating is great activity to practice with your children. Choose any food and then ask your child to take their time and use all of their senses to really savour it. Instruct them to smell the food, describe the flavour and observe the texture. Use this exercise to enjoy a special treat together such as chocolate. It can be called your ‘chocolate meditation’!
Bedtime is an ideal time to practice mindfulness with your child. This is particularly useful if your child has difficulty 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 starting at their feet and working right up to the top of their head. What feelings do they have in each part of their body and how does their body feel against the bed?