Mindfulness for Children
A new buzz word in the field of mental health has been mindfulness. Many have heard about it but are not sure what it is. Mindfulness means being present in the moment. When you are present in the moment, you are not able to worry about past mistakes or future stressors. You are simply living in the moment. Adults are quick to find ways to practice mindfulness through deep breathing, walks outside enjoying the sights and sounds, meditation, prayer, and yoga. These are great ways to relieve stress, improve mood, help with symptoms of AD/HD, and decrease anxiety. Many parents are shocked to hear that they can teach mindfulness to their children to help in these areas as well! Here are a few tips to teach mindfulness to your children.
1. Play a “find it” game with your child to find as many things that they had not previously noticed in the room that they can. They might notice a crack on the wall, patterns on the wallpaper, or an interesting picture in the room. Cloud watching can also be great. Try lying on the grass and gazing in the clouds and discuss what you see.
2. The “listening” game is another fun mindfulness game. Using your senses is a great way to practice mindfulness. Try ringing bells and asking your child to let you know when they no longer hear the ringing. You can also grab seashells at the beach and take turns listening and describing the sounds that you hear.
3. Deep Breathing is one of the best ways to teach your child to calm their body and be in the moment. Blowing into pinwheels is a great way to teach your child to breath in deeply and slowly exhale. While practicing deep breathing, your child can examine all the colors of the pinwheel they see.
These are just a few fun activities you can do with your child to practice mindfulness. It’s a great way to potentially reduce anxiety, improve mood, and reduce symptoms of AD/HD!
Written by: Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPC-S
Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and owner of Heights Family Counseling. Amy has been practicing for fifteen years. She has doctoral level training in the areas of child and adolescent counseling, marriage and family therapy, and adult counseling. Amy Rollo provides counseling and evaluation services in the Houston Heights and surrounding areas. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives. Read more about Amy's counseling style by visiting www.heightsfamilycounseling.com