Teaching children to be mindful is an important step in helping them to be kind and compassionate human beings. What does it mean to be mindful? Jon Kabat-Zinn says that, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
Learning the art of mindfulness can give children (and adults) the tools to deal with daily stress and anxiety. When one is mindful, we are more compassionate, calm, grateful, present and better in control of our emotions. There is so much research out there about the benefits of children learning mindful practices. These practices can help them to be open to learning new things, have longer attention spans, regulate their emotions and be more productive.
I have been on my own mindful journey for the past few years. I have to be honest, it has been difficult for my type A, high-strung personality to learn these new ways of dealing with stress and anxiety. I can tell you first hand that I am calmer, more patient and a better mother and wife when I practice mindfulness. I am still a work in progress but on the whole I am calmer, more present and engaged in my life and not as tied to my to-do list.
A year ago, I knew that mindfulness was something I had to teach my children while they were young. I thought that if they could learn these important skills early on, they would enter adulthood with a toolbox of skills to help them battle the stresses that come their way. We have worked mindful practices into our daily lives and I am excited to share all of that with this community during Mindful March.
There are many ways to teach our children (and ourselves) to be more mindful. Check out the resources below to help you and your children practice mindfulness.