Two parents playing with their kids, teaching them mindfulness for kids
8 min read

Mindfulness for Kids

A How-to Guide for Parents

Raising calm, happy, confident kids is easier said than done. Social pressures, school-related stress, and activity burnout all contribute to anxieties that our children shouldn’t have to deal with. At such a young age, children should be care-free — exploring the world around them, learning, and having fun.

If your child is struggling with stress, anxiety, chronic worrying, or related symptoms, mindfulness is a practice that can help, especially mindfulness activities. 

What Is Mindfulness in Simple Terms?

It can be difficult to define mindfulness in just one sentence. There are simply too many definitions out there. For kids, however, it’s best to simplify the definition as much as possible. 

Anahana-Wellness-Mindfulness-For-KidsIf you’d like to explain what mindfulness is to your child, we invite you to use a definition such as this one:

Why Do Kids Need Mindfulness?

Approximately 4.4 million American children aged 3-17 have diagnosed anxiety.

If you’re wondering what are the benefits of mindfulness for kids, here are just a few you can expect. Meditation for kids can:

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1.   Help them avoid distractions

Kids are often easily distracted. Mindfulness improves focus. This allows them to complete tasks more efficiently and with greater overall ease. 

2.   Promote joy

Mindfulness allows kids to open their hearts and minds, which naturally promotes more joy and happiness.

3.   Teach them how to deal with stress

Often, kids head into their teenage and young adult years without the tools they need to handle stress. 

Mindfulness is a fantastic practice to help handle stressful times because it slows down your mind and body at the same time. By focusing only on the present moment, rumination isn’t possible. Furthermore, if you can harness and calm your thoughts, you can also slow your heart rate and reduce heavy, fast breathing and other physical symptoms of stress.

4.   Foster peace and calm at home

Lastly, as a parent, teaching your children mindfulness can help you keep your home calmer and more peaceful. That’s because children who understand and practice mindfulness regularly tend to be more relaxed. They can cope with stressors and challenging situations much better. This can help release the pressure valve in an otherwise stressful household, calming fights before bed or naptime, lessening trouble at the dinner table, and limiting other snafus that frequently come with parenting.

Tips for Teaching Kids Mindfulness

"Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor." — Thich Nhat Hanh

Sharing mindfulness with your children can be a great way to connect positively and help them achieve a calmer state of mind.

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Here are some tips for helping your children learn mindfulness:

AnahanaWellness_WebBullet Promote mindfulness as a tool for difficult feelings and emotions

As adults, we know how difficult controlling our emotions and feelings can be. But we also know we’re a lot better at it than we were when we were kids. When you’re young, strong emotions like fear, worry, and anger can come on like insurmountable tsunamis, and it can seem like there’s no way out.

Teaching mindfulness to your child can help them learn that difficult feelings and emotions don’t have to automatically be in charge. With mindful breathing and practice focusing on just one thing, your child can learn to harness their thoughts and let worry and anxiety float away. 

AnahanaWellness_WebBullet Incorporate physical activity

Especially active kids will benefit from incorporating physical activity with mindfulness. After all, even for adults, it can be difficult to sit in mindful meditation. To practice mindfulness while being active, go for a mindful walk, play a silent game of ping pong, or try some mindful yoga together.

AnahanaWellness_WebBullet Use mindfulness techniques to explore nature

Nature is the perfect place to practice mindfulness. For example, you can go for a mindful hike, do some mindful gardening, or just sit in a beautiful spot and do a bit of mindfulness meditation.

AnahanaWellness_WebBullet Show them that you practice mindfulness too

Practicing what you preach when it comes to mindfulness is key. 

To get started with your own mindfulness training, try our simple and quick Unwind Your Mind session. You’ll stream live with a professional meditation instructor who can help you relax, reset, and learn the basics of mindfulness in just 25 minutes.

Meditation for children

Kids meditation is another way for children to practice mindfulness. For your child to feel more mindful it's important to introduce them to elements they feel comfortable with, and perhaps also something you could practice together. Mindfulness meditation for kids practiced alongside you as a parent, will engage your child and make them more at ease with the entire process. 

Mindfulness for children is essential for their wellbeing, and the sooner you are able to start, the better they will feel. Mindful kids are happy kids, and with happy children you will have happy parents. There are several mindfulness articles that promotes mindful meditation for kids. 

If you are looking for mindfulness meditation for kids please feel free to reach out to one of our Wellness Advisor to discuss your needs and goals.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Mindfulness for Kids

Is mindfulness meditation good for kids?

Yes! Mindfulness is the perfect activity for kids of any age, no matter their personalities or interests. Teaching your child mindfulness can help them throughout their lives. It teaches them how best to deal with stress, how to concentrate on one task, and how to enjoy the present moment without ruminating on the past or future. 

What activities support mindfulness?

You can do any activity with mindfulness. For example, you can sweep the floor, weed the garden, or clean your bedroom with mindfulness. All you need to do to be mindful while doing another task is to focus on what you’re doing and try not to let your mind wander to the future or past. A good way to do this is to note each and every movement you make and every thought that crosses your mind. Describe to yourself what you are doing in explicit detail. In moments when you’re not doing anything or not moving at all, simply focus on your breath.

What are mindfulness skills?

Just like math, reading, or playing the guitar, learning mindfulness is a skill. You can learn how to practice mindfulness (and get better at it) through repetition. Practicing every day is the best way to attain the skill of mindfulness. 

With Mindfulness Practice, Kids Should Start Young

If you’ve used mindfulness to improve your own life, you already know this practice’s amazing benefits. Teaching your children the practice at an early age can help them grow into mindfulness and use it throughout their lives. 

Where to start? Try our Unwind Your Mind streaming service. Through personalized instruction, your child can learn to use breathing and mindful focus to slow down frantic thinking and anxiety. 

Mindfulness is a tool anyone can take advantage of, but the Unwind Your Mind service is unique to Anahana. Try it with your child today and start to see positive benefits right away. 

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Download Your Mindfulness for Kids Infographic!

Dr. Darlene Buan-Basit

Written by Dr. Darlene Buan-Basit

Darlene has worked with everyone from Olympic level athletes to newborn babies, and genuinely loves helping people anyway she can! As a practicing Chiropractor with multiple certifications in yoga, pilates, and specialized breathing techniques, her unique skill set is world-class.

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