Exploring Mindfulness with Your Child*

Mindfulness is a widespread meditation practise that allows a person to feel more grounded in a current moment, which takes their focus away from things that they might be anxious or stressed about. If parents explore mindfulness with their child from a young age, it will help equip them with a coping mechanism that they can use throughout life to calm their mind. Here are some tips from an independent school in Surrey on how you can start exploring mindfulness with your youngster.

Tune Into the Senses
This is a practise that can be done at any time! Whether you’re out for stroll through the woods or just sitting at home in the living room, as your child what they can see, hear, smell, taste and feel. This will draw their thoughts to the present moment and stop them from stressing about exams or something else that might be bothering them, even if it’s just a temporary relief.

Another common practise, and something you could try if your child is having a temper tantrum, is to make them pause, look round the room and list off anything they can see of a certain colour.

Discuss Feelings
This doesn’t have to be an emotional feeling, it could be a physical one, but the idea is to encourage your child to embrace an experience as it is happening rather than letting moments flash by in the blink of an eye. For instance, if you’re eating a tasty meal, you could discuss the flavour and texture and how it makes you feel warm. Again, this draws the attention to the present moment.

Dispel Fear
If your child is anxious about something that may or may not happen in the future, ask them to think about whether or not they are in any imminent danger. The answer will most likely be no, which should help calm them. Ask them if the thing they’re worried about will matter in a week, a month, or a year. The trick is to draw them back to the safety and comfort of the here and now.

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