"Just Breathe" by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman (Wavecrest Films) Mindful Parents Raise Less Stressed-Out Kids. You really can’t pass any magazine rack today without seeing something about mindfulness.
We’re bombarded with messages of its power—that it helps reduce the effects of stress, improves your immune function, and even improves your decision-making skills. While it’s surely not a cure-all, it is overwhelmingly established by controlled scientific studies to be of value in living a healthy, engaged, and less stressful life (1) (2).
It’s been shown to subtly, and yet in measurable and meaningful ways, change the structure of the brain (3). And a study published this month in the journal Psychology by Lea Waters of the University of Melbourne, points to the benefits of mindfulness within our families. Simple Ways to Help Young Kids Develop Self-Control. The first five years of life are a period of significant brain development, but some regions of the brain mature more slowly than others.
The prefrontal cortex, which is the home base of executive function, is one such region, which explains why impulse and emotional control can be difficult for young children. Still, aspects of executive function, including the ability to focus attention and working memory and to self-regulate actions, can be improved with explicit teaching, support, and practice, even among preschoolers. 8 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids. We know mindfulness is good for us.
Mindfulness allows us to be present in our parenting, choosing a skillful response, instead of succumbing to our visceral reactions. Mindfulness is also good for our kids. There is an emerging body of research that indicates mindfulness can help children improve their abilities to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset and to make better decisions. In short, it helps with emotional regulation and cognitive focus. Do I even need to ask if you want that for your kids?
So where do we start? Establish your own practice. Keep it simple. Check your expectations. The purpose of teaching mindfulness to our children is to give them skills to develop their awareness of their inner and outer experiences, to recognize their thoughts as “just thoughts,” to understand how emotions manifest in their bodies, to recognize when their attention has wandered, and to provide tools for impulse control.
Don’t force it. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7 Fun Ways To Teach Your Kids Mindfulness. I taught a mindfulness class at my daughters’ elementary school this week.
Unsurprisingly, the kids taught me way more than I taught them. While I was doing research to develop the class, I came upon a wealth of information about mindfulness programs in schools. For one, I learned that actress Goldie Hawn has been working with neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists and educators to develop a mindfulness curriculum for schools. I was thrilled to find out that their research reported that mindfulness education in schools has proven benefits: it increases optimism and happiness in classrooms, decreases bullying and aggression, increases compassion and empathy for others and helps students resolve conflicts.
If you ever want to be inspired and also have a giggle, ask a group of kids what they think “mindfulness” is. 1. Ring a bell and ask the kids to listen closely to the vibration of the ringing sound. 2. Hand out a stuffed animal to each child (or another small object). 3. 4. 5. 6. Mindfulness Activities for Children And Teens: 25 Fun Exercises For Ki. Home » Mindfulness » Mindfulness Activities for Children And Teens: 25 Fun Exercises For Kids “In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being” (Eckhart Tolle).
Mindfulness can add to the quality of our lives in numerous ways, from nurturing a sense of inner peace to improving the quality of a workout, from enhancing self-confidence to facilitating deeper and more meaningful relationships with others. Bedtime Mindfulness: A Gratitude Body Scan for Children. “Mummy, can we do a different mindfulness practice tonight?”
“Sure we can Darling, would you like to?” “uh-huh.” “OK, close your eyes, and settle down into your bed and take your attention down to your feet. “Feel from the inside where your feet are in the bed, where they are touching the sheet and silently thank your feet for walking you around all day. 8 Ways to Lean into Negative Thoughts for Kids. “Don’t worry, be happy.”
“Big kids don’t cry.” “Fake it until you make it.” From a young age, we are taught to deal with our negative thoughts and emotions by quashing them or transforming them into something more positive.