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Mindfulness For Kids: How To Encourage & Promote Mindfulness In Children

Mindfulness For Kids: How To Encourage & Promote Mindfulness In Children

“Mindfulness” has been a hot topic in the wellness industry for the last five to ten years with everyone from elite athletes, politicians and even global entrepreneurs spruiking the benefits of a more mindful approach to life. But what about mindfulness for kids? Are kids already born with the ability to maintain focus and a clearer mind or is this a skill we need to teach them?
 
We asked mindfulness and qigong teacher Emma Adnams from “Move For Life Qigong” (who is also a qualified teacher and has been working with children for over 15 years) what her 3 top tips are for improving mindfulness in children are.
 
Tip 1 - Identify The “Why”
 
Sit down as a family with your children and discuss why being in the moment, being present and being connected to your environment is important. Discuss how your/their actions are often an outcome of how you/they feel, and how being more aware of your feelings can make you more aware and in control of your actions. It’s also important to discuss how your feelings and actions can affect others.
 
Once you’ve had these discussions, practice mindfulness together by writing down feelings and putting them in a mindfulness jar, engaging in mindful movement like dancing, or even just going for a walk and noticing the things in your environment or neighbourhood e.g., the colour of plants and trees, the number of street signs… etc.
 
Tip 2 - Schedule, Share and Reflect
 
Once you’ve identified why being more mindful is important to you and your family, start scheduling it by putting it in the calendar and making it a priority. It doesn’t need to be a large amount of time, but rather just 1-3 moments in the day to reflect and discuss your moments of awareness. Around the dinner table at night is a good time, or you can even encourage kids to draw their reflections on a piece of paper.
 
A few suggestions to start the conversation if you want to talk about it include:

  • Today I felt… what did you feel today? Where in your body did you feel that?
  • I am grateful for…today. What do you feel grateful for?
  • What colour did you feel like today?
  • I wonder if you made anyone smile today?

 Tip 3 – Be A Role Model
 
I know how busy mums and dads are, I’m a parent myself! But it’s really important to be a role model to your children if you want to encourage them to be more mindful by practicing it yourself. Take a moment in your day when you’re chasing that “To Do List” and express how you feel as well as verbalising it to others. If your children can see, hear and notice you being more mindful and aware of your feelings, they will start to mimic those behaviours too.
 
You can find Emma on Instagram @move_for_life_qigong or by clicking this link: https://www.instagram.com/move_for_life_qigong/