ChildrenMindfulness

3 Tips for Explaining Mindfulness to Children

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Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Author bio: Natalie Wilson is a freelance health and wellness writer. She loves researching and writing about new health trends and topics, as well as keeping up to date with the latest health news. When not writing, you can find her taking long walks in the countryside with her dog or browsing her nearest bookstore. You can connect with her on Twitter

Mindfulness has become somewhat of a buzz topic in recent years and is a word that a lot of people tend to throw around, without understanding exactly what it means. In the simplest terms, mindfulness is being aware of your mind and body and what’s happening in the present moment. It’s not about trying to clear your mind as most people think, but instead should be a way to naturally let your thoughts and emotions come and go, allowing you time to carefully deconstruct and analyze these feelings.

Explain Mindfulness to Your Children

Children have a lot of emotions that they don’t quite understand at their age or get the meaning behind these emotions or as to why they feel this way, so teaching mindfulness to children is becoming a popular activity, especially at school or ahead of big changes in their life. It allows children to slow down and refocus on the present, rather than being absorbed in the past or future.

Mindfulness is a great technique to teach children how to manage stress in a healthy way so that, as they grow into adults, they can ensure they have a healthy balance when it comes to their emotions. Whilst mindfulness is a great activity for children to undertake, how exactly do you explain mindfulness to children? Let’s take a look at some tips as to how you can explain mindfulness to young children and the benefits of doing so.

1.  Emotions Aren’t A Bad Thing

explain mindfulness to children

We’ve all experienced emotions for the first time and you might remember the way you felt the first time you experienced anger or frustration due to a lack of understanding. We forget that all kids go through the same experience and if these emotions are explained the wrong way, children can believe that certain emotions are bad. It’s important to allow children to allow their present emotions with mindfulness so that they can identify their emotions when they happen.

You can teach your children the “Weather Report” approach which helps children understand the importance of emotions and how we all feel the same. The Weather Report approach is a great way for children to explain their emotions, so for example using terms such as sunshine, rain, storms, calm, wind and hurricane means that they can relate their emotions to a type of weather as a visual aid. Then, you can explain that there’s no way to change the weather, just as there is no way you can change your emotions.

2.  Practice Is Key

explain mindfulness to children

When it comes to mindfulness, a lot of people tend to use the technique when they are feeling angry or anxious. Whilst this is great at calming and rebalancing, it’s important to avoid using it as an anecdote for the worst situations. Instead, teach your children to use mindfulness as a daily thing, no matter their emotions. Whether it’s in an activity such as reading, coloring or playing outdoors or something to do before bedtime, teaching mindfulness to children should be used as a tool rather than a solution.

Before bedtime, you could use the teddy bear breathing technique, where children lie down on their back and put their favorite teddy on their tummies. Then, as they take deep breaths in and out, they focus on the teddy bear rising up and down as they do so. This technique encourages children to wind down and be calm for a few moments and doing this before bedtime can help children to get a better night’s sleep.

3.  It’s An Important Life Tool

explain mindfulness to children

There are many ways in which children can learn about and practice mindfulness as part of their daily routine. When it comes to educating children about mindfulness, it’s good to describe it as being a tool they can use throughout their life to keep them healthy. Just as it’s important to eat a balanced diet, take multivitamins, and exercise regularly, mindfulness should be a daily consideration.

Remember, you can’t teach children about things you have no knowledge or experience of, so in order to approach it in the best way, be sure to spend some time during your day to find the best mindfulness techniques for you. Whether you choose yoga, listen to relaxing music, go on a walk, or simply just sit in quiet whilst taking in some deep breaths, so long as you feel calm and collected after, then that’s great!


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