What can mindfulness look like to a child?
The reality of modern lifestyles is generally hectic – between childcare, school, work, study, staying healthy, after school and extracurricular activities, global pandemics and all that the universe throws at our families generally, we get tired. Even if we aren’t tired physically, we need to recognise that actualisation that being tired emotionally is what usually brings us down harder and faster than anything.
Our days and by default, our Children’s days are busy, driven by time restrictions, routines, and outcomes, not to mention the often-unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves and our children in the process. Children can often feel the weight of this heavy world on their shoulders and by using 2 simple strategies with them, we can make a difference.
In a perfect world, our family and our children would live naturally carefree an in- the -moment. It’s up to us as parents to use that perfect world idea to reflect on how we can bring as much mindfulness and calm to our lives and that of our children as we can, in the time that we have got.
Being ‘mindful’ is being aware and paying attention to something in particular. To be mindful, you need to slow down. Sometimes it can happen naturally – you could be doing a task that takes concentration, say shooting a netball through a net. You structure your body in the right position, your focusing on the net, your feeling the ball in your hands and judging the distance between the ball and the net, you zone in on the net and the time and the space you are in and BAM you throw the ball right into the net. Without even realising, you were mindful.
Bringing calm and focus to children’s lives is a bit tricker, and that’s where Yoga comes in handy. Yoga and mindfulness go hand in hand, and the best thing is anyone can ‘do’ Yoga with their child – you don’t need to be a Yoga teacher. Yoga gives children opportunities to strengthen their growing minds – it helps them slow down, to listen, to develop their attention and self-regulation skills, teaches them to stay calm and focus through breathing, as well as strengthening their bodies through movement and exercise. It can even support children’s sleep patterns – which helps us all really! That’s why we offer yoga classes as a part of our incursions at Kenmore Hills Early Learning.
Here are a couple of great websites to help you and your child on their Yoga Journey:
Fundamentals of meditation are simple and fun for children and once again, parents don’t have to be Meditation experts to help children learn this skill. Meditation and mindfulness practices help children understand more about themselves and their world, giving foundation for healthy and mindful habits in their lives. Meditation improves children’s sense of self-awareness, supports emotional regulation and stress management skills, and improves their focus and attention. In modern lives many children experience feelings of anxiety and street and mindfulness exercises can help children to reconnect and open an inner dialogue between their body and the mind – and help them feel great! (mind, body and spirit)
There are many guided meditation scripts available online which are relaxing and engaging ways to teach meditation to your child – from full body relaxation techniques to riding magic carpets, there is something for every family. Here are some free and useful scripts for use with children:
Our incursion program includes weekly yoga, find out more about our incursions and excursions at Kenmore Hills Early Learning!