Kids/Youth and Mindfulness Practices. More Important Now Than Ever.Part 2

artzil

There’s so much to talk about on this subject that it will be an ongoing post….

kids playing in the backyard
Kids living in the moment

What Are We Seeing in Our Youth Today?

With the rapid changes in our world and society, the growing pressures and growth in technology, our youngest generation is taking the biggest toll. What does this look like? Being a Mom and working as Education Assistant in the public school system I see it first-hand:

  1. Attention issues
  2. Impulsive behaviour
  3. Increased anxiety and depression
  4. Decreased academic ability
  5. Sleep problems
  6. Social struggles
  7. Self-esteem issues
  8. Constant state of fight-or-flight

What Are The Benefits of Mindfulness?

Through the basic principals of mindfulness we can assist them out of fight-or-flight mode and into a place of safety.

Through mindfulness we can support our kids in achieving:

  1. Resilience
  2. Personal success
  3. Self-awareness
  4. Responsible decision making
  5. Improved learning
  6. Better able to articulate emotions
  7. More able to articulate thoughts
  8. Able to express and manage anxiety and depression
  9. Cultivate positive behaviour
  10. Healthy self-esteem
  11. Achieve academic success
  12. Improve focus and concentration
  13. Develop compassion for others and themselves
  14. Increase a sense of calm
  15. Increased empathy
  16. Happier and healthier overall
  17. Willingness to learn
  18. Better able to respond to difficult emotions
  19. Natural conflict resolution skills

Simple Ways to Get Started

Start slowly. This can look like teaching your child about THE BREATH. Our breath is our anchor. It is with us everywhere we go and our most important tool in allowing us to be in the moment. When we focus on our breath it calms us and brings us back to where we are. When we are focused on the breath it brings us out of our head and back to the present moment. One simple tool is to simply say “in…out” as you breath in and out. For your child you can be the coach and repeat this as they breathe in and out, teaching them this technique to use themselves.

Breathing techniques:

  1. Decrease anxiety by quashing fight or flight
  2. Assist children in learning to focus
  3. Allow children to become aware
  4. Lay the groundwork for children’s adult challenges
  5. Calm the body
  6. Hinders the amygdala’s automatic response in the brain

Stuffed Animal Breathing

A really fun and great way to teach your child to focus on their breathing is to have them lay down on their back and choose a stuffed animal.

Place the stuffed animal on their belly and have them draw in a deep breath, watch the stuffed animal rise, then exhale, watch the stuffed animal fall. Continue to do this. This assists children in learning to to breathe with their belly.

Square Breathing

Draw a square in the air or on a piece of paper. Start at the bottom corner of the square and as you trace your finger up to the next corner breathe in for 4 counts. Trace your finger to the next corner as you hold for 4 counts. Exhale for 4 counts as you trace to the next corner. Breathe in for 4 counts as you trace your finger to the next corner. Exhale!

Colour Breathing/Stress Release Breathing

Think of a colour that represents calm. Close your eyes and breathe that colour in. Take a deep, cleansing breath. Now think of a colour that represents stress and worries, now release your breath and with it picture that colour, taking all of your stress and worries with it.

Alternatively you can imagine taking in a deep cleansing breath full of light, now, when you exhale think about what is bothering you and with your breath release those worries with your breath. Repeat this, allowing, calm, soothing light in, releasing stress and worries with each breath.

Make this day great!

Thank your for checking out my blog. I truly hope that you found this post helpful and that there are some practices here you can incorporate into your routine with your kids. As a certified mindfulness educator this is something I feel so passionate about.

Keep checking back, there will be a lot more on this subject. And check out my shop, there are some useful materials for your little ones there too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *