Mindfulness For Kids: 3 Simple Techniques
What is Mindfulness?
In simple terms ‘Mindfulness’ refers to being in the present moment. It means engaging all your senses in whatever it is you are currently doing, be it walking, talking to someone, eating or watching the sunset.
Why Mindfulness For Kids?
The onslaught of social media has led to an overload of information for kids resulting in reduced attention spans and increased levels of stress. Kids keep switching from one app to another without focusing on and enjoying their current activity. So, it is necessary to get them back on track and teach them to be mindfully present at the moment, to improve their attention spans and help them relax.
3 Simple Techniques to Teach Mindfulness.
Here are 3 simple mindfulness techniques you can incorporate into your kid’s everyday routine.
Mealtimes are the perfect opportunity to inculcate mindfulness in your kid. Let us take lunchtime as an example and go through the entire mindful eating process.
- All gadgets like phones, ipads etc should be put away before sitting down at the table.
- Arrange the food in neat segments – the rice/roti, veggies, dal and curd all neatly demarcated on the plate.
- Get your kid to first take in all the colours on the plate.
- Then ensure they take a small bite of food and chew it thoroughly. This will get them to enjoy the flavour of the food and also eat more slowly. In the initial stages you could get your kid to close their eyes to focus better (only till they get the hang of it).
- Increase their awareness by asking them about their interpretation of the flavours, colours and textures.
Taking a nature walk with your kid can be an opportunity to bond with them while teaching them mindfulness.
- Ask your child to observe any new flowering shrub they see, the colour and shape of the flowers, shape of the leaves, etc.
- Stop and listen to the sound of birds chirping. Maybe identify a few common birds and the sounds associated with them.
- Listen to the sound of twigs snapping beneath their feet, stones crunching, etc.
Even in other situations like travelling in a vehicle or grocery shopping get your kid involved in the moment in the following ways:
- To stand and absorb in the colours and smells in the fresh fruits and vegetable section.
- To identify vegetables and fruits based on their colour, shape and smell.
- To count the number of food items as you stack them in the trolley.
- To count the number of hoardings you pass when driving down the highway.
This is just the start, as you get your kids more involved in mindful activities, you will find them becoming more focused and positive.