Girls

How Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children Leads to a Happier, Calmer Home

January 14, 2016

Get Outdoors_EJ Drevno Your Mindful Child

As an expert in bringing mindfulness into homes, I know that starting a mindfulness practice as a family doesn’t have to be hard. Implementing just a few easy practices leads to a happier and calmer home. Use these 5 tips as a guide to incorporate daily mindfulness as a family.

Tip 1: Start a Morning Gratitude Routine

Expressing gratitude has been shown to improve self-esteem, increase productivity, and even make us more likable! Together as a family, take turns sharing three things you are grateful for that day. This quick routine can take place first thing when everyone wakes up, at the breakfast table or even on your way to dropping the kids off at school!

Expressing gratitude in the morning sets us up for a happier day. When children have a positive attitude, they can enjoy school more. And enjoying school is a key to your children’s learning and growth.

Suggested Reading: Just So Thankful by Mercer Mayer

Tip 2: Unplug as a Family

In today’s tech-driven world, it’s as important to unplug with your family as it is to brush your teeth twice a day. Unplugging means putting your internet devices out of sight, or even turning them off (gasp!). Unplugging has the power to increase the feeling of connection within your family and even improves quality of sleep.

Try tech-free dinners. They create more opportunities for mindful eating, so your family can experience the joys of eating intentionally and connecting over food. Your kids may even try something new!

Suggested Reading: No Ordinary Apple by Sara Marlowe

Tip 3: Get Outdoors Together

Fresh air and a connection to nature gives us that “grounded” feeling and has been proven to improve our moods. So take a walk, play in the park, build a snowman, hike, or ride your bikes. Just get outside and play together! When children play, they use their creative abilities and imagination, which are two things that lead to critical thinking skills and mastering new concepts.

Suggested Reading: I Wonder Why by Lois Rock

Tip 4: Meditate with Your ChildrenUnplugging _EJ Drevno Your Mindful Child

Emily Jean is wearing the Chi Tank in White and Floral Crush Chaturanga Tight

I know what you’re thinking, but trust me…it is possible to meditate with your kids.

Find just a few minutes to sit or lay quietly together and listen to a guided visualization. Search Google or YouTube for “guided meditation for kids,” and you’ll find a ton of free resources to get started. If your kids want to roll over or shake their legs while meditating, let them move. Keep it short; 3-5 minutes is plenty. And celebrate any success you and your children have, even if they were only able to participate for a minute or two.

Meditation is proven to decrease stress, increase focus and self-awareness, and may even help us live longer!

Suggested Reading: Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee Maclean

Tip 5: Take Time to Notice the Small Things

Notice the Small Things 1_EJ Drevno

Emily Jean is wearing the Chi Tank in Green

In our busy lives, we can often focus on the big picture, making it easy to miss out on the small things. Being mindful means being present and living in the moment. When we focus on what’s happening right now instead of that deadline tomorrow or how this morning’s meeting went, our eyes become open to the beauty and magic of right now.

Encourage your children to notice the small things. The easiest way to do this is to make a point of doing it yourself. Point out the way the wind makes clouds move and transform in the sky. Compliment that adorable freckle on your child’s chin. Watch the sunset. Modeling being present will have a huge impact on the way your children view life.

Suggested Reading: Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Children who practice mindfulness are more motivated, have higher academic performance, and experience thoughts of self-love more frequently.

Which of these tips are you willing to try with your own family? Start with the ones that feel the easiest and then move on to the others. Have fun, be patient, and remember to breathe.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Betsy January 18, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Thank you, especially, for the reading and the guided meditation for kids. Such important skills and tools for all of us.

  • Reply acceptance and commitment therapy training uk January 24, 2016 at 5:59 pm

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  • Reply EJ Drevno January 25, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Betsy, so glad you enjoyed reading the article. Have you tried meditating with your kids yet or ordered any of the recommended books?

    “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Training UK”, thank you for your comment. How exciting that you are wanting to tap into your creative abilities and write! My advice is to take a look at any free platforms that interest you. As far as the writing goes…let yourself write or type anything that feels like it wants to come out. Just get started and remember to have compassion for yourself and enjoy the process.

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