While mindfulness can be tricky for anyone to practice, there are particulars to consider for children, says Roy Hintsa, a Toronto area stress reduction facilitator.
Hintsa suggests younger children will respond to more physical practices. She recommends some practices for preschool children:
Have your child lie down on a mat on the floor, or on their bed, and place their favourite stuffed animal on their belly. Have them rock the stuffed animal to sleep with the movement of their belly as they breathe in and out. This is how they can begin to pay attention to their breathing.
To read the full list of tips, click here.
Hintsa also has tips for practicing with the whole family, like taking three mindful breaths before eating together, and sharing one grateful moment you had that day at bedtime.
For more stories on mindfulness and children, you might, for example, browse our “On Teen Life” blog, written by Gina Biegel, who addresses everything from teens using mindfulness to study to current mindfulness programs for youth. You may also want to watch The Mindful Child: Interview with Susan Kaiser Greenland. She is author of The Mindful Child and talks about how to incorporate mindfulness practices into your child’s life.