Mindfulness is the ability to reduce stress and anxiety by bringing one’s attention to the present. Exercising this ability with your child can help to increase their focus at school. It can also add value to the rest of their life by allowing them to cope better with emotions.
This can be compared to meditation as it works to calm your presence while paying close attention to your body, thoughts and feelings. For children with poor sleeping habits, this is best to exercise before bedtime to promote a calmer night. A Quaker school in the UK shares how mindfulness can be practised at home with your child.
Going outside into nature and observing all the different sounds our ears stumble upon is a good way of exercising mindfulness. A wonderful way to truly embrace the present. This can help to steer away from thoughts that might bring anxiety. Such as upcoming school performances or exams. Ask your child to talk about what they hear and what it reminds them of. This can in turn help them to focus on a good time or a positive experience.
QUIET MIND EXERCISES
These exercises are often referred to as brain breaks. Breaks where the mind silences all noise and chatter. For a brief few minutes this will help to focus on the present using breath. Breaks can be used to recall positive memories. Special things in their life. This helps to unwind from a period of stress. It can also be used after completing homework or revision. The whole family can benefit from these exercises.
Well-wishing exercises can be used to appreciate those cared about. This way they can expel negative emotions that our children may have about others. The exercises work by finding a comfortable position, lowering the gaze or closing the eyes and if they wish, placing a hand on the heart. Then they can start to focus on happy thoughts and positivity.
This activity starts by getting your child to think about someone they respect and cares a lot for them in return. Prompt them to notice how they feel when they think about this person and make a wish to send their way. Repeat this activity for someone your child loves a lot followed by someone that has annoyed them lately and get them to send a positive wish their way. Once the exercise is complete, check in with your child. See how they feel and observe if there is any change in their mood.
Have you practiced mindfulness with your child?