Mindfulness has seen a huge rise in popularity recently. As more people discover just how powerful the meditation technique is, the more they realise how easy it is to benefit from it. It’s an ideal form of meditation for children because it requires no special equipment, and you don’t even need to close your eyes or lie down! Many schools now, such as this top school in London, place a lot of emphasis on children’s emotional development and mindfulness is a valuable tool.
What exactly is mindfulness? In short it’s the practice of meditating in the moment – noticing and appreciating everything around you at that time. Being mindful to be present in the time and place you currently are – and that includes seeing each and every detail, listening to the sounds and feeling the sensations you’re currently exposed to.
Children tend to embrace it because there are no rules as such. Mindfulness can be practiced in the garden, on a train, in a busy classroom or in a special place which you’ve set aside at home.
How to begin
Talk to your child about mindfulness and what it is. Choose a quiet moment when your child isn’t too excitable or emotional and ask them to sit down with you.
Ask them to notice the space you’re in – to listen to the sounds. Explain that this is what mindfulness is.
Set up a special area
If you have a spare corner in your home, you can dedicate it to mindfulness. Place a comfortable, soft rug and some cushions on the floor, add some pretty wind chimes and fairy lights. Try to create a space which is both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. This is particularly important for smaller children who need input.
Practising mindfulness whilst out and about
Once your child becomes used to relaxing with mindfulness at home, they will begin to use it out of the home too. At school, in the playground, whilst travelling. It’s a powerful way for children to learn to regulate their emotions and also to improve their concentration. These are valuable skills which your child can take with them into their adult life.