Why mindfulness is important for your children (and you!)

A picture of a child on a bed contemplating mindfulness

When the world is overwhelming and even the kids are feeling it alongside you, it’s a great time to focus on what’s important with these mindfulness activities and apps.

Being stuck at home with children can be a little stressful, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic when most of us don’t have a choice.

Kids are as annoyed as we are that they can’t do things they love like taking holidays, going to the movies or participating in sport.

Okay, let’s just call a spade a spade; it is very stressful!

But the good news is that mindfulness can help. It can relax us, help us to de-stress, and make us grateful for all the things we do still have.

We’re all in this together and, with a few helpful tips and strategies you may never have considered, we can and will get through it!

Mindful the gap

While mindfulness may just sound like a bit of a buzzword if you haven’t practised it before, if we can get to its essence it is a very powerful tool.

The Oxford Dictionary defines mindfulness as “Focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, especially as part of a therapeutic or meditative technique.”

Basically, blocking out all the distractions of the world and getting back to the simplicity of existing in the moment.

It’s amazing how much clarity can be achieved by just pulling back all the layers and keeping it simple to appreciate what we have. And that can even be done with kids…

A picture of a father and daughter hugging

You’ve met kids, right?

Yes, we have. And they don’t ever make anything ever seem peaceful or relaxed!

Actually, there was that one time they were asleep for more than a few consecutive hours. Wow, that was bliss. We got to sit and enjoy our own thoughts…

But we digress.

So, while it does seem like a task similar to getting blood from a stone (actually, that’s probably easier), there are plenty of things you can try to get them a little more zen and mindful.

After all, there are still so many simple things around that can bring all of us joy: gardens to explore, flowers to stop and smell, toys bursting out of the toy-box that haven’t been played with in ages, and licking the spoon when we’re cooking together!

A picture of a young child having a tantrum inside a cardboard box

Don’t hesitate, meditate

Meditation can do wonderful things and is a great way to enhance mindfulness. This article from The New York Times describes its benefits as reducing stress, increasing calmness and promoting happiness—and details how to keep meditation simple for adults and kids

Now, it’s something you’re going to have to experiment with yourself first, before you try and do it with your children—after all, monkey see, monkey do!

They may latch onto it with all the enthusiasm of a well-performed downward dog, or they may lose interest in five seconds to chase the actual dog. There’s only one way to find out!

A picture of a young girl meditating outside

If they won’t meditate, then activate

Meditation won’t be every child’s cup of tea (especially the younger ones), and if this is the case then don’t fret, you’re not out of luck.

Some other great mindful things to do with kids at home can be found at Positive Psychology. These tips and tricks utilise everything from superheroes to animals to get kids excited about the art of mindfulness, which they state can help with everything from mitigating the effects of bullying to enhancing focus and social skills.

Yoga is also worth a shot. Don’t know anything about yoga? It doesn’t matter—Alo Yoga has online classes designed specifically for kids! It can help with improving flexibility, strength and coordination—all vital in the formative years—as well as developing calmness and relaxation skills.

Even something as simple as getting back to the basics of drawing and colouring can be a great way to embody the concepts of mindfulness in children. Check out our range of stationery, which even includes Positivity Pencils and Markers!

With inspirational messages like “You are unique” and “You are brave” on their own personalised stationery, your kids will develop both creativity and mindfulness in one go!

There is no one ‘right’ solution, and whatever is best is whatever works to give your kids peace of mind and connectivity to the simple and pleasurable things in their lives.

A picture of a woman and young child doing yoga

None of this what you want it to be? Turn to technology

If you’re still struggling with inspiring mindfulness, then you can always rely on the medium that all of today’s kids gravitate to anyway: technology.

There are heaps of apps that focus on techniques for relaxation, meditation and mindfulness. Some of our favourites include: Headspace, Stop, Breathe & Think, Mindful Family and Smiling Mind.

These apps are all designed to help with a range of issues such as improving sleep, focus with hobbies, reducing anxiety and stress, and learning how to be kind.

Check them out and find the one that best suits you and your offspring. Before you know it, you’ll all be more mindful than you ever dreamed possible!

A picture of a young girl using a mobile phone

Got some other great things to do with kids that will help make them more mindful? Let us know in the comment section below!