Many parents have heard the term "mindfulness" before, and some may even practice it. At Snorble, we believe that teaching children mindfulness can reap huge benefits, and it’s not just us. Many experts in child psychology and well-being also believe this to be true as well.
Before we get to tips on how to introduce mindfulness to your little one(s), let’s define what “mindfulness” means. For the most part, mindfulness can be defined as being fully present in the moment. As an adult, think about how many times you’ve been in a conversation while checking your email, or have been eating dinner with your family while the TV is on. Multi-tasking and work seems to have taken over our lives, yielding little to no time to slow down and be “in the moment.”
Children can also find themselves out of the moment, but in different ways. For them, it’s more about sensory overload. Often times, children can’t process the many stimuli that seem to be overloading their senses on a daily basis. Typically, the end result of this is a cranky toddler, or worse, the dreaded complete meltdown. Thus, teaching kids how to take some time to slow down, relax, and calm themselves can often produce stunning benefits.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help them embrace the concept of mindfulness:
- Block off 15 minutes and find a comfortable quiet spot, indoors or outdoors. Have your child close their eyes and coach them to take three long, slow, deep breathes—five seconds in and five seconds out. This slow breathing is the basic exercise for many different variations of mindfulness. It always helps to do this with them.
- Once they have taken in these first three breaths, have them keep breathing like this, but have them visualize something calming to them. You can offer suggestions to younger ones such as puffy clouds floating by, a flowing creek, or even the Rainbow River!
- Sometimes, having them do breathing exercises and then reading a nice calming story or poem helps, but make sure they keep their eyes closed! It can be helpful and soothing to hold your child’s hand or otherwise engage in some light physical contact to reassure them that you are there.
- Another variation is to put on some light classical music or nature sounds while they do their breathing exercises. If they prefer headphones or ear buds, by all means, indulge them.
Of course, another great way to introduce your child to mindfulness is through some of the many features that Snorble® offers. Our little buddy has some great mindfulness exercises built in and can actually take you and your child through some wonderful visualizations within the land of Lullaboo! These calming journeys to the Shimmering Sandy Seashore or Xy High Falls are perfect for introducing your little one and you to the benefits of practicing mindfulness. It's all part of our mission to support your family in developing healthy habits for a better life!
If you'd like to learn more about mindfulness for children, check out our Pinterest board here.