As adults we know how important it is to care for our mind, body, and soul. That’s why we try to eat well, practice yoga & meditation, and even catch up on the occasional book. For many of us, this journey toward self care was one we took solo. We taught ourselves and sometimes learned the hard way. Could you imagine how different our lives would’ve been if we had this vision growing up? It is so important to guide our little ones in a positive lifestyle direction, especially during their formative years. A great practice to start our bringing awareness to wellness is through mindfulness. Whether you are a loving parent or an educator, there are many ways to prepare children for a long happy life.
Mindfulness practices can help kids learn to focus, reduce stress, have self-control over their emotions, and develop a positive outlook on life. Follow these tips to teach mindfulness to children.
It’s important to tell children the WHY behind mindfulness. The best place to start is by describing what mindfulness is and how it can help. Tell your kids or students that mindfulness is noticing your thoughts, what your body feels like, what your ears are hearing, and anything else that is around you and happening right now.
You don’t have to go at it alone! There are incredible tools and resources out there designed to help you. This animated YouTube video is a great example of what’s out there to specifically educate children on why why mindfulness is important and how it can help them.
GoNoodle is another great, free resource for parents and teachers. This website has a bank of videos featuring guided mindfulness practice for kids. And, kids love it because it feels like a game! Try the "rainbow breaths" lesson to teach your students or children how to breathe in a way that calms them down in stressful situations. For young yogis in training there are also multiple instructional videos on yoga poses!
Practice “noticing” refers to having children periodically check into the present moment. Walk them through naming what they feel, see, smell, and hear and how it is impacting their day. You can aid children in this process by modeling with your own check in. Helping a child identify self-awareness is an incredible way to practice mindfulness.
Part of practicing mindfulness is appreciating the daily wonders in our lives. This goes beyond the practice of saying "thank you" and extends to seeing the beauty in the everyday. Give your children opportunities to look at nature and appreciate the colors of the sunset or the fresh flowers in the garden. End the day by recounting the things you are grateful for together as a family or a class.
Another way to help instill gratitude your youngsters is by encouraging generosity or having them do good deeds for others. Lead by example and practice little acts of kindness with your kids or students.
Try these tools with your kids or students as a way to help them manage stressful situations. And, to make giving back even easier, one of the incredible things about YogaClub is that every box they deliver, they donate a yoga & meditation class to low-income elementary school kids. Ready to pay it forward? Join the tribe today!
About the Author
Lauren is an aspiring yogi living in Arizona. She’s been teaching elementary education for the past 3 years and recently became a YogaClub ambassador. Her favorite thing about being an ambassador is the ability to share fabulous, name brand yoga gear at extreme discounts for every fitness enthusiast. Most of all she’s am excited to work with a company who makes eco-friendly apparel a priority while providing yoga classes to elementary schools in need.