3 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Children

February 13, 2018

3 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Children

Mindfulness is the practice of noticing what is happening inside and around us.

It deepens our awareness and allows us to observe the thoughts and feelings we are having. This awareness can allow us to avoid becoming stuck in overwhelming emotions.

This present moment living is not just for adults.

Inviting your child to observe what is happening for themselves is a wonderful way to encourage their self esteem and help them to create their own calm moments.

Guiding them to breath deeply may better equip them to deal with hard emotions, combat overstimulation, prevent current and future anxieties, and balance their energy.

Imagine how beneficial this tool will be to your child, not only in their present, but also in helping them to create a bright and hopeful future.

Child meditating outside

Practice what you teach

Children are often looking to their parents and loved ones to model the way they should live. Letting your child see you cultivate a practice of mindfulness will teach them that it is beneficial to their own wellbeing.

In many ways, you are responsible for creating the worldview through which your child will see until they can choose their own way of being.

Mindful mother and daughter sitting together on floor

Teaching mindfulness empowers them to begin to observe for themselves what they see and feel.

As they get older, this awareness will be a tool for them to use to choose what their personal values are and how they wish to live.

If your children see you practicing yoga, breathwork, or even just slowing down and noticing the world on a deeper level, they are more likely to be interested in doing so themselves.

Mindful yoga kid in downward dog

To practice and teach mindfulness, seek out ways that your family can slow down and enjoy the current moment.

We share a few of our favorite ways below, but don’t feel like you are limited to just these.

This time does not have to be serious and it does not have to feel rigid.

You can find mindfulness while having a pizza party and encouraging each other to slow down and savor the flavors and textures.

Child mindfully walking outside

You can take a few minutes during your daily walk to pause and just listen to the sounds of nature.

Think about the things that you already enjoy doing as a family and get creative in finding ways to allow more slowness and intentionality to come into that time.

Teaching children mindfulness graphic

Why mindfulness is beneficial to children:

  • cultivates self-compassion
  • aids in alertness
  • helps with understanding thoughts and feelings
  • balances their energy
  • builds clearer communication & stronger relationships
  • reduces anxiety and stress
  • encourages creativity
  • creates healthy self esteem

Deep Breathing: Balloon Breath

Deep breathing is a relaxation practice which causes an automatic shift from the fight or flight response of your sympathetic nervous system into your parasympathetic nervous system.

When the fight or flight response is triggered, taking deep breaths will allow your body to realize that it is okay and not in need of protection.

This can be beneficial for helping your child to find calm while dealing with difficult and confusing emotions.

Mom & daughter lying on their backs deep breathing

To practice balloon breath, have your child lay on their back and place their hands on their belly.

Encourage them to inhale through their nose while imagining their belly is a balloon they are filling up.

On the exhale, ask them to breathe through their nose and deflate the balloon.

Do this 5-10 times.

Eat A Raisin Slowly

Set a timer for 30 seconds, and invite your child to eat their raisen (or any other small food) slowly.

Encourage them to notice the textures, tastes, and sensations.

Remind them that slowing down helps them to explore and notice more things.

Creativity Dates

Mother and daughter painting together

Carve out 30 minutes to sit with your little one, fully immersing yourself in the process of creating a work of art with them.

Take time to talk about the colors you pick, the things you draw, and how you are feeling as you color.

Encourage yourself and your child to slow down and enjoy the process without worrying too much about the finished product.

You can even use this time to talk about how important it is to enjoy the journey and not rush through life.

Mindful happy child painting

As you can see, there is so much room to get creative and find something that is enjoyable for you and your family.

Let it be fun.

It can even become a game you all play to see how much of the current moment you can soak in!

Happy and loving mother and child


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