We know mindfulness is good for adults. It helps us be more present with our families, it allows us to feel gratitude, and it teaches us to experience our emotions without overreacting.  If you’re a busy parent, this can be a profound and beautiful thing!

But did you know there is an emerging body of research that suggests mindfulness is good for children too?  It’s true!

Teaching Mindfulness To Children

Mindfulness can improve focus and attention in children. It also helps kids learn to calm themselves down when they’re upset.

Mindfulness may also increase compassion and empathy for others, which in turn helps children resolve conflicts.

Plus, kids today are facing more stress than ever which can take a significant toll on their overall health. Mindfulness can be a great stress reducer in addition to helping kids get more quality sleep at night.

If that weren’t enough, mindfulness can help kids succeed in school and it can help kids with ADD and ADHD gain more focus and attention.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies demonstrated the effectiveness of an eight-week mindfulness program for children ages 8-12 with ADHD, along with a mindful parenting program for their parents.

The researchers found that the program reduced parent-reported ADHD behavior. It also increased mindful awareness among both parents and children, and reduced parental stress.

With such a potential upside, why wouldn’t you try teaching mindfulness to children?

Unsure of how to begin? Don’t worry!  We’ve got six simple mindfulness exercises for kids to get you started.

But first things first, if you want to get your children onboard with the whole mindfulness thing, it’s important to lead by example.  

Be An Example

To be authentic when teaching mindfulness to children, you should try practicing it yourself. Find ways to work mindfulness into your daily routine.

Start a meditation practice. It need only be ten minutes a day, but be sure your kiddos know what you’re up to. It’ll pique their interest.

Eat slowly and mindfully, letting your kids see how you pay attention to the flavor and textures while savoring every bite.  

Kids are little sponges. They will start to pick up on the mindful behaviors you’re doing and they’ll get curious. This, in turn, will make it easier to get them to try some mindfulness exercises for kids.

Teaching mindfulness to children
Getty Images

 

Check Expectations

One note of caution, before you start teaching mindfulness to children check in with yourself and see what your expectations are. What do you hope your kids are going to get from this practice? 

If you’re hoping to have calm, quiet, and collected kids 100% of the time – you might need to recalibrate your expectations before starting this journey.

Mindfulness will help with attention and emotional control, but it’s not a cure-all for kid behaviors like toddler tantrums or fights between siblings.  But the benefits kids do get from starting a mindfulness practice make it WELL WORTH the effort.

Our kids are busier than ever. Research suggests practicing mindfulness CAN help reduce their anxiety, improve focus and memory, and make falling asleep easier. Mindfulness can also lead to better learning outcomes in school. Seriously, it’s a win-win all around.

Ready to get started? Here are Six Simple Mindfulness Exercises For Kids.

Being present in the moment is key to experiencing life to its fullest. Teaching mindfulness to children is one way to pass on this great gift.

Related: Meditation For Parents: The Surprising Benefits!

 

SHARE teaching mindfulness to children with friends on Facebook and Pinterest by clicking the buttons below.