A Guide to Practicing Mindfulness with Your Kids 1

What Is Mindfulness?

A Guide to Practicing Mindfulness with Your Kids

Today, children face numerous stressors that affect their mental health and well-being. Recent data shows more than 20% of children worldwide struggle with anxiety. 

As a parent or caregiver, it may be hard to help your kid navigate these feelings and develop practical skills to manage their emotions.

Luckily, through mindfulness activities, you can help your child be aware of their thoughts and feelings and promote their mental health. This article explores mindfulness, its importance, and how to incorporate it into your child’s daily routine.

Mindfulness is the practice of quietly concentrating on your consciousness at the present moment over and over again. The practice involves centering on sensations to root yourself in your body in the here and now.

Mindfulness promotes awareness of what’s happening in every present moment. It also involves acknowledging your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judging them. When you practice mindfulness, your thoughts adjust to what’s currently happening rather than thinking of the past and the future.

Like adults, kids are easily distracted by past events or worried about something that might happen in the future. As a result, they may have challenges controlling their behaviors and managing their emotions. That’s where mindfulness comes in; it helps them appreciate their feelings, allowing them to think more clearly. 

While practicing mindfulness benefits your kid in creating awareness of the present, it also helps the parents. As you practice with your child, mindfulness allows you to relax, deal with stress, and enhance happiness.

In a nutshell, practicing mindfulness with your kids aims at the following:
  • Cultivating awareness
  • Creating attention to current occurrences
  • Building a curious, non-judgmental, and kind attitude

What Are the Basic Principles of Mindfulness?
The following principles help to cultivate awareness of the present moment and calm the mind. In addition, utilizing them when teaching mindfulness to your children helps with achieving the desired results.

1. Non-Judgment
As you begin teaching mindfulness to your kids, they start paying attention to their mental habits and how distracted they are. Also, as they shift their mind, they’ll realize how often they judge their experiences in daily life. At times, they may develop thoughts unrelated to the task at hand; don’t judge them for not focusing. Instead, help them appreciate that their mind has wandered, and they’ll be able to focus in due time.

2. Patience
Mindfulness takes time. Therefore, you should recognize and accept that things will unfold at the right time. Also, allow some time for your child to master mindfulness and observe what happens in the present. Patience is also a vital tool if your child’s mind is wandering.

3. Creating a Beginner’s Mind
Help your child view things from a fresh perspective as if it’s their first time. Don’t let their past experiences and beliefs prevent them from seeing things in the present moment. Instead, create new opportunities for learning and exploring new things without any attached assumptions.

4. Trust
Trust in your kid’s feelings, beliefs, decisions, and capabilities. Be confident that things will eventually work out, and appreciate the support and guidance they receive from others.

5. Non-striving
This principle involves taking pauses from the urge to achieve specific goals. In other words, it’s about letting things be as they are while you remain as you are. So, allow your kids to be who they are and have what they have instead of continuously wanting more.

6. Acceptance
It involves acknowledging the current situation without a desire to change it. Allowing your child to accept the present moment without wishing to change helps create awareness of what they’re experiencing.

7. Letting Go
Your child might get stuck to a specific incident or experience during mindfulness. So, help them release any attachments to thoughts and overcome past events.

8. Presence
Mindfulness involves being present in the here and now. Helping you child to focus on things in their current environment can reduce thoughts related to the past or future, which tend to cause emotions such as anger, worry, and sadness.

Courtesy of Grow Therapy

Grow Therapy believes everyone deserves access to affordable therapy, no matter who you are or where you’re at on your mental health journey. We're here to help you learn, heal, and grow by providing you with resources and connecting you with therapists who fit your needs.

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