Is your child stressed, angry, or anxious, and you don’t know how to help?
Is your child having trouble concentrating or has low grades, and you are not sure what to do?
Is your relationship with your child suffering due to his or her behavior?
You are not alone, and mindfulness can help!
Today, many children struggle with their social skills and have a hard time regulating their emotions. Meanwhile, their stress levels are increasing rapidly from the perpetual distractions of the digital age, high pressure to achieve, economic hardship, and emotional struggles (Kabat-Zinn, 2013). Ultimately, any one of these factors can hamper a student’s ability to learn (Tatum, 2009). In the last issue, I presented several tips for practicing mindfulness with your child. In this article, I will share a few more. Remember, modeling the behavior is an excellent way to develop your own practice while teaching your child!
1. Noticing pleasurable things
This exercise can help your child relax and alleviate pain and discomfort. Ask your child to practice noticing pleasurable things each day, either large, like a fun event with friends, or subtle, like a fresh breeze. Ask your child to write ten pleasurable things in a diary each day for a couple weeks and then discuss how this practice helped.
2. Being kind and gentle to yourself
This practice can foster a sense of well-being and ease stress and depression.
One of my teachers recently stressed how important it is to be kind and gentle to yourself as well as others, so ask your children to try treating themselves with the same kindness that they would treat loved ones.
3. Listening mindfully
This exercise can help your child increase concentration and focus, and become more responsive to his or her environment.
a. Ask your child to close his or her eyes.
b. One at a time, make a unique sound. Try to find sounds that are not completely obvious to guess, like shuffling a deck of cards.
c. Ask your child to write down specific descriptions of each sound and what caused the sound.
d. Finish by asking, “How is this different than how you usually listen to sounds?”
Practicing mindfulness techniques can help children earn better grades, cope with stress, and manage their emotions and behavior. Moreover, mindfulness can help them improve their concentration and become more empathetic and optimistic. We are conducting classes this fall in conjunction with Mindful Beginnings, so get in touch with me today to reserve your spot. Space is limited.
About Rob Van Hyfte:
We empower youth to earn better grades, reduce stress, manage emotions, improve concentration, and increase empathy and optimism.