Many of us practice mindfulness ourselves but tend to forget that our children can benefit from mindfulness practices too, particularly in today’s busy world. With Children’s Mental Health Week having just passed, more and more parents are taking steps to ensure their children are both physically and mentally healthy.
Whether your child is currently suffering from mental health issues, or you’d like to make them more aware of their mind and health, discover the best ways you can practice mindfulness with your child.
Share a synchronised hug
Take a deep breath, and hug it out for a minute. This is a particularly useful tactic if your child is in distress or having a panic attack. Taking synchronised breaths can help your child feel relaxed, and melt the stresses away. This simple tactic can be very effective.
Let’s get moving
Exercise has been proven to be one of the most successful ways to improve your mental health – and it’s the same principal for children as well as adults. Regular exercise helps to improve anxiety, depression and stress. It can even help to improve your child’s memory and help them sleep better. The mindfulness benefits of exercise are endless.
Team sports are a great way to get your children moving while socialising at the same time. If your child doesn’t want to take part in team sports, you could simply take them for a fast-paced walk in the park with the dog, or head to a trampoline park for hours of fun and exercise.
Fuel their minds
What your children eat doesn’t just affect their physical health, but it can impact their mental health and wellbeing also. It’s important that your child gets a healthy nutritional intake from an early age, and studies have shown that a poor diet is often linked to poorer mental health in children. Try to incorporate more fruits and veggies into their diets, and less processed or fast foods. It might sound simple, but when paired with regular exercise, a healthy diet can make a real difference.
Utilise the power of toys
Toys can sometimes be a distraction for your child, but you could use this distraction to practice mindfulness with them. Get them to switch off their video games and pick up an old-school toy to help them get in touch with the real world.
Good toys to practice mindfulness could include kites, water balloons and active toys like tennis rackets and balls. With many pound toys available, mindfulness practice doesn’t have to be expensive either. Anything that gets them moving is a great place to start.
Meditate with your child
Not only is this a great mindfulness practice for your child, but it can also help you become more mindful, too! Meditation is a great way to get them to relax and reflect on certain things for just a few minutes of their day. Try the Spider-Man meditation ritual for a fun-packed session. This superhero themed meditation will teach your child to be aware of what they can smell, hear and taste during the session – a great idea for putting them in touch with their spidey senses.
What works for your children can work for you too, and vice versa. Simply setting aside 30 seconds for a deep hug (or 30 minutes for some brisk exercise) can help you and your child practice mindfulness in today’s busy world.