Wellbeing and Mindfulness for Children

What does the Wellbeing of children imply?

A childs social and emotional wellbeing is integral to their overall health, development and wellbeing. Children with high levels of social and emotional wellbeing are more likely to successfully negotiate physical, intellectual and social challenges during childhood and adolescence.

Physical wellbeing contributes to childrens ability to concentrate, cooperate and learn. As children become more independent, they can take greater responsibility for their health, hygiene and personal care and become mindful of their own and others’ safety.

What is mindfulness for children?

Our minds are constantly active. You might be watching television, but also thinking about the past, or worrying about something, or wondering what you are going to have for dinner.

Mindfulness is about stilling your active mind. It has been defined in several ways, including:

  • giving your complete attention to the present on a moment-by-moment basis
  • paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment.

It is about being more aware as you live and experience each moment, as the moment happens. It can be a useful way of calming yourself, focusing and concentrating on what you are doing.

You can be mindful of your internal world. For example, sensations, breath and emotions.

Or you can focus on what is around you. For example, sights, sounds and smells. You can be mindful anywhere and with anything. For example, you can be mindful while you are eating, walking, listening to music or sitting.

You can practice mindfulness with your little one by giving this activity a go:

TAKING NOTICE
There is so much to pay attention to all around us, all the time. From cars to birds to sirens if we step outside our doorstep we are exposed to a huge range of sounds. Sitting down and taking a few minutes to identify your surroundings will help your focus mind and body and enable you and your child to relax before moving to another activity.


Firstly, how do you explain mindfulness to a child?

You can explain it to children by saying it is a bit like looking outside in the morning to see what the weather is doing.

You see what the weather pattern is like inside you. This helps you to know what you need that day. So, if it is raining outside, you know you need an umbrella.

If you are feeling stormy inside, you ask yourself what you need – maybe you need to be on your own for a bit, or to ask for a hug or to do some exercise.

TAKE NOTICE OF…THE SKY
Take some time each day to watch the sky in the day and at night.

TAKE NOTICE OF…THE CLOUDS
When you look at the sky in the day, watch the clouds. Can you spot different patterns? Draw a picture of the clouds or imagine that you can see pictures in the different shapes.

TAKE NOTICE OF…THE MOON
Learn about the moon and its different phases. Make some time to have a look for it each night. Maybe draw a picture of what you see.

TAKE NOTICE OF…THE STARS
See if you can spot stars you recognise and give them names.

 

 

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