You Really Can Help Your Kids Adopt a Mindfulness Habit

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Every mom in the history of Momming has been there.

Has reached the point of frustration with a child and found themself saying, “Can you just sit still and be quiet for a few minutes?”

It doesn’t matter if your kid is three or thirteen, there are times when we just wish they could sit down, take some deep breaths, and be calm in the moment – free of excess energy, worry, or struggle.

Research shows that just a short daily dose of mindfulness – or quieting of the mind – at home or in school, can help improve a child’s attention, boost their self-esteem, and help them to better monitor their emotions. Psychologists Kirk Strosahl and Patricia Robinson, co-authors of the book In This Moment, share that “there is emerging evidence that mindfulness-based brain training produces permanent structural changes in the brain.”

Sounds nice, especially for our kids who struggle with issues like ADHD or anxiety. But if the thought of your child achieving any level of mindfulness makes you laugh, I get it. Some days the bouncing off the walls factor may just be too high.

Here are some things to keep in mind: start small and, depending on the age of your kids, maybe offer an incentive for even just a few minutes of trying; practice and model your own mindfulness and patience during the process; and remain optimistic that there are many different ways that you can encourage a mindfulness habit for your kids.

Check out these helpful resources to get you started.

Activity Cards

1 Mindful Games Activity Cards: 55 Fun Ways to Share Mindfulness with Kids and Teens

A deck of 55 mindfulness games for kids that takes a playful approach to developing attention and focus and identifying and regulating emotions.

2 Yoga Pretzels: 50 Fun Activities for Kids & Grownups

Stretch your way to a fun and healthy lifestyle with each of the fifty yoga poses in this colorful deck. Great for all ages.

Books

1 The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate

The Mindful Child explains the vast benefits of mindfulness training to children from 4 to 18 years old with age-appropriate exercises, songs, games, and fables that Susan Kaiser Greenland has developed over more than a decade of teaching mindful awareness to kids.

2 Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)

Simple mindfulness practices to help your child (ages 5-12) deal with anxiety, improve concentration, and handle difficult emotions—with a 60-minute audio CD of guided exercises.

3 Master of Mindfulness: How to Be Your Own Superhero in Times of Stress

Master of Mindfulness is a unique and empowering book written for kids by kids, with cool illustrations and tips that show how to be confident, get focused, stay calm, and tap into their inner strength so they can be their own superhero—no matter what life throws their way!

Apps for Kids

1 Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind is a unique tool developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to anyone’s life. Suggested time is 10 minutes a day.

2 Stop Breathe Think

Stop Breathe Think recommends activities paired with current emotions, no matter if your child is anxious, hopeful, angry, or just can’t fall asleep.

3 Wellbeyond Meditations for Kids

Wonderful meditations for kids about things like feelings, kindness, and sleep that plant the seeds for a lifetime of benefits.

Stress will always be a part of life, but mindfulness is an essential skill that can empower you and your kids to experience greater resilience, kindness, and happiness.

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Marybeth Bock is a native San Franciscan, who spent 13 years living and working in two European countries and four U.S. states as an Army spouse. (Faves: Germany and Hawaii). She’s been enduring the heat of Arizona for 14 years now with her husband, two adult-ish kids, and one crazy coonhound. An alumna of UCLA (Go, Bruins!), she has a Master’s in Public Health and loves to research and write about all health topics, particularly the mental and physical health issues of adolescents and women. Her writing can often be found on the Grown and Flown and Blunt Moms websites. As a new empty-nester, she is thoroughly enjoying the role of “College Mom”, and is finding more time for crafting, hiking, Happy Hour and travel. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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