Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Mindfulness is really just being in the present moment. Focusing on what is happening in the here and now. Which makes it such a simple thing to do (once you have practiced) We spend so much time concerned about what is going on around us and what is going to happen in the future we forget to be focused on here and now. I have put together some really simple things you can do with your child that once you do it you will realise how super simple it is.
1 Washing hands....
Yes your heard me right. Washing hands. When your child needs to wash their hands before dinner or after toileting take some time to stand with them and to encourage them to have the water at a gentle flow. Placing one hand in at a time, asking how does the water feel? Is it cold, warm, smooth. What does it look like? Can you see through it? Does it look different when you put your hand of finger in the stream? Get them to feel the water running over their hands, their wrists and feel the difference in temperature. Listen to the noise the water makes as it goes down the drain or drips into the bowl. Use some soap and ask how it feels when they soap up their hands, Does it smell nice? What does it smell like?
Noticing their hands as they wash, can you see the lines when the soap is in them? Do they have lots of lines? Is their skin smooth or rough?
Then drying them. Feeling the texture of the towel, the way their hands feel when they are dry. Do they smell nice. Are they cold or warm?
This is something we do every day and the water can be a calming factor..Watching it pour from the tap. Putting it on a gentle flow.
2 Mindful Walking
Spending time outside with the kids is very important. It not only helps you to ground your energy but also is such a beautiful tool for your child too. Sunshine, Nature, Trees, Birds, Dirt and Fresh air have a wonderful effect on our energy. Taking a trip around the block, around the garden is something you could do of an afternoon before that dreaded witching hour. It gets the kids of the technology and helps to keep them calm, centred and grounded.
Taking a walk around the garden have a look at what it is you can see. What you can Hear and feeling the different textures of things. Having a close look at leaves, bark, rocks and feeling them between your fingers. Noticing if you can hear the wind rustling the leaves. What sounds the crickets and cicadas make. Taking off your shoes and walking barefoot (if it is safe to do so) Feeling how the earth feels beneath your feet. Hugging a tree. Feeling if you can feel the energy that emanates from it. Noticing how you feel after hugging the tree (and no not embarrassed.) or yes noticing that you feel that too. Being fully in the moment.
3 Mindful Breathing
A great way to focus on Mindful breathing is to lie with your child before they are going to drift off to sleep. Maybe they have a teddy that they can place on their tummy or they could place their hands on if not. Encouraging them to take a deep breath in......... and then out.
Breathing in to fill up the belly as if it is filling a balloon. Making the tummy rise and stick out and as you exhale watching the tummy flatten and the hands or teddy lower. Repeating this for a few minutes. Watching the rise and fall, noticing the breath, how it feels entering the nostrils. Is it cool air coming in and warm as it goes out. Visualizing the air filling the body and dissolving any tension, anxiety, worries and then blowing all that out as you exhale. This is a lovely way to spend time with the children and could become a bedtime routine. Calming them, getting to connect with them and you both are getting the benefits from that. It will also help with children who do not really settle for sleep.