What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means to pay attention in a special way, on purpose, and without judgement. Can children practice mindfulness? Sure, they can! Not only can children practice mindfulness, but they can also enjoy many fun, interactive, mindful activities. Teaching children mindfulness meditation can be such a joy! Watching a child’s eyes light up while venturing on a mindful walk or even participating in a mindful eating exercise warms my heart.
Mindfulness meditation is an awesome way to help children identify and regulate emotions. For children “paying attention in a special way,” creates a new awareness of surroundings, emotions, and sensations. Some children may be very curious, while other children may be more reserved or not wanting to participate (and that is okay). Remember, practicing mindfulness looks different for everyone.
Practicing mindfulness meditation together with a child can create a wonderful bond. During the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic I began a “Mommy and Me” Meditation practice. My goal was to stay connected with my then 7 year old daughter during a monumental shift in both of our lives. It became an amazing way for us as mother and daughter to remain grounded during times of change. Today, we would like to share our practice with you! Below are a few tips to help as you begin a mindfulness meditation journey…
1. Let’s begin with an invitation to find a meditation space that works for you.
It could be sitting in a chair with something to support your back with your feet on the floor, criss cross applesauce, or even lying down. It could be outdoors and connecting with nature or in the comfort of your own home. Whatever is best for you.
2. Feel free to enjoy a Mommy and Me Meditation with or without music. Using soundscapes or the assistance of a trained meditation guide is another option to consider when beginning a new personal meditation practice. There are many tutorials available via video or app that can be helpful. My daughter and I have tried many different techniques until we found what was best for us. Remember, this is a personal journey, so be sure it is a good fit for you.
3. Next, as you begin to settle into a comfortable space, feel free to close your eyes or keep your eyes open. If your child doesn’t want to close their eyes, no worries. It is perfectly fine to practice mindfulness with your eyes open. Children may also open their eyes throughout their meditation practice and that’s perfectly okay. We want our children to feel safe and comfortable while meditating.
4. Now that we are all settled, let’s begin with taking a few deep breaths. Continue to breathe in and out while noticing the breath. Slowly begin to settle into your normal breathing pattern. A great way to help your child focus on the breath is to use a feather or a light object that can move freely. Place the object at half arms length and encourage the child to blow on the object. Now they are able to see and experience the breath. As you bring the mindfulness meditation to an end, allow children to slowly come out of meditation by inviting them to wiggle their fingers and feet.
5. Always remember that mindfulness looks different for everyone. Children may not sit completely still and that’s okay. When you notice a child beginning to stray, gently remind them it’s okay to get distracted and return to the breath. Repeat the breathing exercise as many times as you like. My daughter and I practice as often as needed.
Mindfulness meditation is great for both children and adults. Helping to bring awareness to the present moment without judgement. Finding the time to incorporate a consistent meditation practice into your daily regimen can be life changing.
“My goal is to reach every child possible. Sharing the gift of mindfulness and hoping they share it with a friend.”
Check out our Mommy and Me Meditation on IG TV @Izzi_Meditates!