Mindfulness For Kids
I wanted to talk about this as it is a subject I'm passionate about and it is close to my heart.
I feel mindfulness is important for children. It can help them identify their feelings and emotions, it helps them to find calm and reassurance in themselves.
So this week my 8 year old daughter had, what seemed like, a mild panic attack due to a heath issue and she was scared of what was happening to her. She does yoga and sometimes does mindfulness practices with me. So during this time of panic I locked onto her eyes and tried calm her down with breathing, in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 6. The longer the out breath the better - in a nutshell it slows your heart rate and increases your endorphins, the “feel good” chemical.
After she calmed down she said her hands had pins and needles. I explained to her that this was because she was breathing too quickly and she had hyperventilated. We talked further about breathing techniques, yoga and mindfulness. I explained the more we practice it, the easier it becomes in times of worry or panic.
I then dug out this book:
I brought it a while ago and have used some of the activities in it with my two. I put it on a shelf, forgot about it .......... but remembered it now. It has many calming and mindful activities in it, from calming glitter jars, guided meditations and gratitude paper chains. One of the best parts in it, I think, is the 2 pages where it explains the science behind our brain, body and breathing and how it might effect our emotions. After what happened this week, my daughter and I read through this page together to remind her how powerful deep breathing can be.
It is a lovely book and I won't be putting it back on the shelf for a while - my son, my daughter and I have made a pact to try to do at least one mindful activity every day until school goes back. Hopefully by then it will be a habit for us and we will do it daily without even thinking about it.
I would love to share some of the activities from the book with you on future posts. We also use some of these activities and craft ideas when running our children's trauma recovery programmes.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope it was helpful for you.
Keep safe, keep positive and stay mindful.