Mindfulness for children
Mindfulness can teach our children to be kind to themselves and others by bringing a gentle awareness to the present moment. Mindfulness can decrease anxiety and increase our children's overall levels of wellbeing and happiness.
Mindfulness is about developing a “peaceful and calm” mind.
Mindfulness is about bringing our attention to the present moment in an accepting, non-judgmental way. A child’s brain is constantly developing, connections in the prefrontal circuits of the brain are created fast during childhood. The prefrontal cortex area of our brain is responsible for focus and cognitive control. Practicing mindfulness from a young age has a positive impact on the development of skills such as self-regulation, judgement and patience. When we teach our children mindfulness from a young age, mindfulness will become a healthy habit.
Being mindful with our children is a great way to teach children what mindfulness is. A 7-year-old is not going to understand what mindfulness is if we try to explain what the word means. In my experience the best way to teach a child is to help them “experience mindful moments”.
Taking time to practice breathing with our children is important. Talking to children about the calmness they feel when they notice their breath, will help a child to understand that their breathe is always there to bring them a sense of calmness when they are feeling angry, sad, happy, excited or even frustrated.