So first the basics - The buzzwords of mindfulness and well-being have gained significant coverage over the last few years but is but what is it exactly?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive to or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Is mindfulness right for my kid?
Children of all ages can benefit from mindfulness, the simple practice of bringing a gentle, accepting attitude to the present moment. It can help parents and caregivers too by promoting happiness and relieving stress.
What can mindfulness do for your child
- Improve the ability to manage stress
- Improve the ability to pay attention, focus and concentrate
- Reduce impulsiveness and regulates emotion
- Increase empathy and understanding of others
- Increased capacity to overcome challenges
- Improve physical well-being
As children develop through adolescence to become teenagers, life grows ever more complicated. Developing relationships, surviving school, exercising independence, navigating social media — the very stuff of growing up — can naturally create stressful situations for every child.
Mindfulness — a simple technique that emphasises paying attention to the present moment in an accepting, non-judgmental manner — has emerged as a popular practice in helping kids navigate these difficult times. Now a common day practice, it is being taught to executives in business, athletes in the locker room, and increasingly to children both at home and in school.
“For children, mindfulness can offer relief from whatever difficulties they might be encountering in life,” said Annaka Harris, an author who teaches mindfulness to children. “It also gives them the beauty of being in the present moment.”
Of course, being a parent is an incredibly stressful experience in its own right. For those raising children, practising mindfulness exercises can be very beneficial, allowing caregivers to not only share the skills of happiness and acceptance with their kids but also take better care of themselves at the same time.
Our can of can-do includes a wealth of mindful exercises for your child to take some time out of their busy lives, re-set, destress and concentrate in living in the moment. Mindfulness works best when it’s done regularly so try and build a daily habit of carrying out an exercise together. Not only will it benefit your well-being but it will be precious time together away from the distractions of tablets and TV and life generally. It’s a win-win situation!