…in just a few minutes a day!
Families are soaking up the last days of summer and getting ready to tackle the hustle and bustle of the back to school routine. In the midst of packing lunches, doing drop offs and pick ups and whipping up easy dinners, the last thing parents are thinking about is mindfulness for their children.
Mindfulness can benefit children and the entire family in many ways and make navigating parenthood much easier. Mindfulness has been shown to increase focus and productivity, reduce stress and anxiety, increase the capacity for empathy and allow for greater emotional regulation, amongst other benefits.
Here are three simple ways to practice daily mindfulness with your child so that you can both reap the benefits of feeling calmer, more present and in control of your life…in just a few minutes a day!
Morning Mirror Mantra
How many of us actually take the time to greet ourselves in the mirror every morning? We use the mirror to brush our teeth and hair, but are we really connecting with ourselves on a deep, authentic level?
Teaching your child to greet themselves in the mirror every morning can be a powerful tool to introduce them to the concept of self-love indirectly. The greeting can be as simple as, “Hi. Make it a great day!” or “Hi, I love you. You are awesome.”
Standing in front of a mirror and speaking to your own reflection is a way to work with the subconscious mind to increase one’s confidence, especially if speaking the same positive mantra each day.
When a child is taught to acknowledge themselves in a loving way daily, they are more likely to grow up using positive self-talk, resulting in greater self-esteem and self-respect. This will allow them to make empowered choices along their journey.
During the school day, breakfast may be rushed and lunch is eaten outside of the home. Dinner is typically the only meal that has the potential to be eaten mindfully. To practice mindfulness during dinner, eating must take place sitting, void of all electronics, movement and distractions.
Have your child observe how their body feels before eating. Connecting to the body before a meal can aid in releasing digestive enzymes needed for optimal digestion, which is the key to good health, less allergies and reduced illnesses.
Teach your child to notice the look and feel of the food they are about to ingest and to be present while they are eating. This allows the use of all five senses during mealtime and builds upon a long-term positive relationship with food.
Lastly, teach them to CHEW, CHEW, CHEW to make the entire digestive process easier for the body, which children naturally do anyway! It’s usually us parents that want to rush the eating process.
Gratitude Before Bed
Falling asleep is a great time to program our subconscious mind with valuable information. Have you and your child share 3-5 things from the day that you are each grateful for. This practice allows your child to fall asleep with happier thoughts, rather than thoughts of stress and worry, leading to improved sleep and potentially less nightmares. The benefits of gratitude are plenty, including improved self-esteem, happiness and physical health.
Mirror greetings, mindful eating and gratitude before bed are three powerful mindfulness techniques to use with your child that can take less than a few minutes a day. Implement these simple, yet powerful techniques and notice your parenting will seem a lot easier!
Which one of these techniques are you looking forward to trying? Let us know in the comments below!
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