Mindfulness for children is more important now than ever before.
On the surface, homeschooling is an alternative way to give academics to our kids. When we think of what they need to learn this year, our minds go right to the standard list of subjects we are all so familiar with. But if our goal is to raise happy humans living a meaningful life, there is inner work to do, too. One beautiful and simple, science-backed way to give kids some power over their mental health and emotional regulation is through mindfulness.
Mindfulness for Children
Even if science has been looking into and discovering benefits to practicing mindfulness, like reduced anxiety, depression, and increased attention span – it doesn’t matter if it’s studied and proven, it matters what we experience when we try it! Even very young children can be taught to practice mindfulness in its simplest form. To pause, to focus on the feeling of their breath going in and slowly back out, in and back out.
Young children that are given methods to calm their minds and bodies, and to be in the present moment, will have the gift of keeping these habits throughout their lives! To not always feel like their emotions are controlling them, but to realize they can name their feelings and that they are not their feelings is a skill many adults only wish they had.
Mindfulness Resources for Children
Some highly recommended resources to introduce young children to mindfulness, meditation, and even yoga (which often has an element of mindfulness involved but is great for very physical kids) include:
If You Like Audio
The Calm app is the best meditation and mindfulness app for families because there is something for all ages within. Adults have longer meditations and sleep stories, children have shorter meditative bedtime stories that are very relaxing, and mini-meditations that only take a minute or two.
If You Love Books
Breathe Like a Bear and accompanying audio by Kira Willey on Spotify is a huge hit for preschoolers and early elementary children thanks to the beautiful audio and imaginative mindfulness practices that teach real techniques in mind and breath.
If You Want Video
Cosmic Kids Yoga can be found on YouTube and has a wealth of videos guiding kids through energetic and calming yoga routines as well as shorter videos in guided mindfulness.
Make Mindfulness a Family Habit
One of the most important things about practicing mindfulness is the habit and regularity of it. Taking a single vitamin or having a sip of water won’t do much for your health. But having those things often will give your body what it needs to thrive! Just five minutes each morning before getting dressed, or right before bed – attach the new routine to an old one to make it stick. Your little one may surprise you by trying to guide YOU in calming down the next time you get upset. It happened to me!