During this busy time of year, it’s as important for children to cultivate a sense of peace as it is for adults. Kids feel the pressure (unknowingly) as holiday frenzy picks up. The changes in home and school schedules, eating extra treats and going to parties and special events may be fun, but all that excitement can be exhausting and cause anxiety. If tired, stressed-out grownups have a difficult time staying in the moment, just imagine how hard it is for youngsters.
Teaching children mindfulness not only helps them behave better, it’s a skill that serves them all through life. The most effective way to teach inner peace is to model it. Make “finding quiet moments” a family affair, and everyone will benefit.
Practice Simple Approachable Meditation
The first step in any meditation practice is breathing. Children of all ages can learn to be in the moment by focusing on their breath. Sit in a calm place with your child and instruct them to listen to the sound of their breath or watch the way their chest rises up and down.
Hang a bird feeder in a quiet spot in your yard. Get the whole family to go outside to silently listen, and watch for birds. Spending even a few moments focused on the sounds of nature in your own backyard is a simple and effective distressing activity.
Be Happy with Less
No, this isn’t about cleaning out closets or giving away unwanted toys. That’s stressful! Kids can learn to be happy with less by taking a moment to appreciate what they already have, no cleaning necessary. As a family, take a few minutes out of the day to think of at least one thing each member is grateful for, and record your appreciations in a gratitude journal.