Mindful Mondays: Practising mindfulness with your kids

Written by Trisha Bhullar

As families all over the world work and study from home together, we’ve seen a bonding opportunity for families like no other. One of the biggest ways this has occurred is through parent-child bonding, where kids have gotten a once-in-a-lifetime experience to spend every waking minute with their working parents. If you’re a lover of mindfulness, this is the perfect time to practise mindfulness with your kids. It’s a great bonding experience, and introduces them to an essential wellness tool at a young age. 

Mindfulness for kids: why does it matter?

Mindfulness can be used by anyone, of any age. It’s a practice that cultivates a sense of calm, promoting acceptance of the present. It can be used to nurture emotional wellness, mental strength, gentle curiosity and promote empathy. Mindfulness for kids could, therefore, be essential — at a young age, you’re teaching them to be calm and in touch with their emotions. This is a skill that is essential, which some adults still struggle with today. 

Additionally, mindfulness for kids helps prepare them for adversities related to growing up: social anxiety, insecurity and self-doubt. Mindfulness helps alleviate these negative sentiments, shaping your kids into resilient, confident individuals. 

 

Mindfulness exercise for kids #1: Joint meditation exercises

Meditation could be a fun and engaging way to introduce mindfulness to your children, especially since it’s one of the more tangible forms of mindfulness. Choose an easy meditation exercise to start, such as the 4-7-8 method. Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts. Hold that breath for 7 counts. Exhale through your mouth for 8 counts. Now, repeat that 4 times. It’s easy to do, since it mainly just involves counting, but could bring a world of calm! 

 

Mindfulness exercise for kids #2: Making mindful observations

Mindful observations can be made at small moments each day and can be framed as a game. For example, make a game out of noticing the tiny details of mundane routines — such as when you’re brushing your teeth together or making breakfast. This nurtures your child to start paying attention to present details from young, thus slowly teaching them one of the core aspects of mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness exercise for kids #3: Mindful journal

If your child is old enough to write, a mindful journal could be a great mindfulness exercise to consider. Journal-writing improves their ability to form thoughts into cohesive sentences, while also making them emotionally-aware. Writing helps them wrangle their chattering thoughts into processed feelings, which they can then contemplate about in a calmer, more rational manner. As they get older, this thought process becomes a 5-second internal thought process that helps them acknowledge the present, and act in a calm manner. 

 

Start from young! 

As an adult, mindfulness has probably introduced positive changes to your life. Practising mindfulness with your kids could help them enjoy more benefits than you could imagine. Remember, there’s no better time to introduce mindfulness exercises for kids than when they’re young!