Thursday 10 June 2021

Exploring Mindfulness with Your Child

Mindfulness is a relaxation technique, which helps you to focus on the present moment and calm a busy mind. This means slowing down and paying attention to your senses and feelings, in order to achieve a calmer presence and improve your mental health.

For many children mindfulness is particularly helpful for managing stress caused by exams or their social life. Mindfulness teaches them how to slow down and focus on the present moment, instead of their worries. Mindfulness will also increase your child’s emotional resilience and help them to develop important coping skills for the future.

If you want to teach your child mindfulness, here are some top tips from a Prep School in Buckinghamshire

Practice with your child

Take time each day to practice mindfulness with your child by slowing down and observing your surroundings. This could be anywhere; in the car, 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. You may be surprised to find that you have both noticed something different.

Pay attention to breathing

Teach your child to pay attention to their breathing. You can do this by lying down and focusing on the sensation of the air going in and out of your body. This is helpful for relaxation, particularly if your child is stressed or anxious. Encourage your child to put their hands on their tummy and feel it moving up and down. After you have practised this for a short time, ask your child if they feel more relaxed? 

Try mindfulness when eating

‘Mindful eating' is a great activity to practice with children. Choose a favourite food and then ask your child to take a bite and really savour the taste using all of their senses. 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. You could even include a few surprise flavours to see if they can identify them.

Encourage mindfulness at bedtime

Bedtime is an ideal time to introduce your child to mindfulness, especially if they have 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 their way up to the top of their head. What feelings do they have in each part of their body? For example, they might tingle or feel heavy or warm. They may even be more aware of how the bed feels against their body. This exercise will help your child to relax and fall asleep.

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1 comment:

  1. My youngest girls school teach mindfulness and I think it's brilliant for her and the other kids. I think they all need some help with what's gone on in the last year or so. x