Want to teach your child the art of mindfulness? Even one minute of mindfulness can create a shift during your day. It doesn’t take a particular posture or formal training to engage your mind and body in the present moment. In fact, you can teach kids how to be mindful during ordinary daily activities. Feel free to try one of these activities side-by-side with your child.
1. Mindful waking up
Slowly blink your eyes open. Start to wake your body; wiggle your fingers and your toes. When you feel ready, take a deep breath in and stretch your hands over your head. Stretch all the way from your hands to your toes. Sigh it out and relax. Gently sit up, and stretch your hands over your head again. How does it feel to be in your body today?
2. Mindful eating
Raise a small forkful of food up to your nose and smell your food. Can you tell what it’s going to taste like? Place the food on your tongue. Notice the tastes; is it salty, bitter, sweet, or sour? Slowly start to chew your food. Notice the texture as you begin to break it down into smaller pieces. When you’re ready, swallow your food. Feel the food as it goes all the way down your throat. Take another bite as you slowly explore the tastes on your tongue. Yum!
3. Mindful cleaning
Notice the pressure of your feet on the floor. Bring your attention to the temperature of your hands and feet, do they feel warm or cool? Gently turn the tap water on. Place your hands under the water and feel the temperature. Notice the difference between the temperature of your body and the tap water. Gently turn the tap so that the water is warm, but not too hot. Notice the warm water on your hands, and feel it slowly start to warm the rest of your body. Pick up your sponge and run the water over it. Feel the soft and squishy sponge in your hands. Squeeze a bit of soap onto the sponge, and pick up a dish. Squeeze the water and soap onto the dish. Feel the sponge slowly start to expand back into your hand again. Feel the warm water on your hands, and the squishy sponge as you move it back and forth on the plate.
4. Mindful waiting
Take a deep breath in and fill your lungs with air. Close your eyes. Gently bring your awareness to the smells around you. Try not to reach out for them, just see what you notice. Watch as different smells come and go, like clouds passing in the sky. Are you aware of more smells than you were before? Notice if these smells bring any thoughts up in your mind. Do the smells remind you a memory or a feeling? Try not to judge your thoughts, just notice them as they come and go with the smells around you.
5. Mindful showering
Listen to the noises close to you, hear the sound of the water hitting the floor and your back. As you notice each of these sounds, try not to reach out for them; let them come to you, the same way you would listen to the sounds of an orchestra. Do you hear anything you didn’t notice before? Now, try and see if you can hear any far away sounds. Just notice them, and slowly start to create a picture in your mind of these sounds. Hear them as they come and go around you. Try not to judge the sounds, they are not good or bad. There are natural sounds happening all around you, if you ever need a moment to yourself, you can always close your eyes and listen 🙂
Have anxious children? Teach them the art of mindfulness and resilience at www.gozen.com