If you are unfamiliar with mindfulness, it’s essentially a meditation technique that encourages a person to bring their attention back to the present moment, rather than worrying about an upcoming exam or feeling embarrassed about something that happened in the past. It creates a sense of inner calm and also allows us to appreciate the good in life, rather than focussing on the bad. If you are interested in exploring mindfulness with your child, here are some tips from a prep school in London.
Words like ‘mindfulness’ can seem quite overwhelming to young children who don’t have a particularly wide vocabulary, so be sure to start of slowly. Talk to them about their feelings and senses so that they can become more in tune with how their body and mind react to certain situations. You can practise mindfulness with everything you do, even if it’s something as simple as eating an apple or hugging someone. The idea is to help your child recognise experiences as and when they’re happening, rather than letting moments flash by. Ask them how those experiences made them feel once they’re over.
Mindfulness is a good technique to use at bedtime, especially if your child struggles to doze off. When your child climbs into bed, ask them to get comfy, close their eyes and consider how their body feels against the bed. Ask them to work their way down from the top of their head to the tips of their toes. This should help them relax and eventually fall asleep.
You should also practise mindfulness whilst outside. Next time you take a walk in the park, ask your child to share some things they can see, hear, smell, feel and even taste. If they are struggling, suggest some examples of your own like the feel of the leaves crunching beneath your feet or the wind blowing in your hair. Not only does this draw their attention to the present moment and prevent their mind from wandering, it will also help them appreciate the many wonders of the world, as well as how amazing their bodies are for being able to carry them through the woods.
While it may sound small to pay attention to eating an apple or feeling the breeze on our skin, it’s a fantastic way to gain a new perspective on life and take a moment to appreciate life. Try and practise with your child regularly and encourage them to experience new things so that there’s always an opportunity to notice something unique and incredible about the world.
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