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Loving-Kindness Meditation for Mindfulness

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Mindfulness teaches your child to not look at what they would like, but to focus on what is already there. It is very easy to look at someone else and be envious or jealous of something they have.

Loving-kindness meditation can develop goodwill, kindness, and warmth towards others and themselves. It has tremendous benefits — ranging from healthy well-being to improving emotional intelligence — benefits that can help your child grow into a kind, loving, and well-rounded individual.1 Read more

Energise Your Child with Mindfulness Exercises

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It is important to balance periods of movement with time spent sitting still during the day for you and your child. Engaging in light, physical meditation is just as beneficial as a calm, sit-down meditation. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that acute physical activities enhance executive function.1

Executive function is a set of mental skills — memory, flexible thinking, and self-control — that we use every day to learn, work, and manage daily life. We start developing executive function in early childhood and this development can last all the way till our mid-20s. Trouble with executive function can impede your child’s focus, as well as their ability to follow directions and handle emotions.2 Read more

Guiding Mindfulness Exercises – Breathing

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We all know how much of a challenge it can be to get a bright, bubbly and energetic child to sit still for longer than a few minutes. At certain stages of their development, the importance of ‘slowing down’ and reflecting should be emphasised. The exercises outlined below will assist you and your child in becoming more mindful of yourselves and others.

Talk to them beforehand to explain the exercises and why they are good for them. Play some quiet background music to help them focus. Don’t force your child to participate in these exercises if they don’t want to. Learning to listen to yourself is one important learning aspect of mindfulness. Read more

What can your child learn from mindfulness?

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Children process a lot of information in one day. They deal with all kinds of stimuli and often change their attention from one stimulus to another. With so much information to take in, it can be overwhelming for your child.

Mindfulness is a good exercise to take the time to focus on yourself, be in the present, and acknowledge your feelings1. When you pay attention to your feelings for long enough, you can control how you feel by changing your thoughts and choosing to let go of the negative feelings. Read more

Fine Motor Skills Development in Children

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The development of fine motor skills in early childhood will affect the physical and mental development of your child. Fine motor development allows them to become increasingly independent. This can build confidence and increase self-esteem and will, in turn, have a positive influence on their social interactions and school success.

Your child will go through 3 stages of development before acquiring fine motor skills:

  1. Whole arm development
  2. Whole hand development
  3. Pincer and pincher grasp

There are many fun activities that you can do with your child at home to help train their fine motor skills.

Check out our blog post here for some ideas!

Introduction to Mindfulness

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What is mindfulness?

Webster’s dictionary defines it as the quality or state of being mindful; the practice of maintaining a non-judgemental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.

While a good explanation, this definition doesn’t capture the true essence of what we believe mindfulness is, especially in the context of caring for children.

Mindfulness is our ability to attend to the present moment, with curiosity and kindness. It is our ability to pause, assess what is happening right in front of us, and respond with clarity, as opposed to reacting based on our (often unhelpful) habitual patterns. It is a willingness to be present, and to allow what is here to be here… because it’s already here! Extensive research has been done on this topic, and the overwhelming conclusion is that we are happier when we are present.

The problem that we are facing today is that most people have not been exposed to these skills earlier in life, and therefore wish that they had learned about it sooner. Teaching mindfulness to children from a young age is an invaluable skill that will help them navigate the challenges of childhood and adolescence.

How can mindfulness be taught?

The question then becomes, ‘what actual techniques can we practice and teach to children to help them develop mindfulness?’ Mindfulness can be practiced in a lot of different ways – there is no catch-all method or solution to achieving it. The key message behind this practice is to live in the present more. There is a tendency among people to go about their day on ‘auto-pilot’. This can be changed by paying attention to the smaller things and letting yourself feel how each unique situation affects you. Another key principle is to focus on what you are experiencing and feeling. Too often people only focus on the external things in life, rather than turning inward and reflecting on how the external things make you feel.

Some key outcomes that can be learned through practicing mindfulness:

  • Non-judging: Become an impartial witness of your own attention
  • Patience: Give yourself the space to have whatever experience occurs
  • Trust: Trust yourself
  • Letting go: Not letting yourself get caught up by emotions

In conclusion…

These principles are vital to imprint onto children from as early as possible, to help prepare them for a life that will be filled with challenges and obstacles that will have to be confronted. By practicing mindfulness from an early age, future generations will be better prepared for dealing with those challenges without losing sight of what’s important.

Want to learn new techniques that will help to develop mindfulness in you and your child? Keep an eye on our Facebook page – We will continue to post articles and tips in the coming weeks!

 


References:

  1. Smegen, I. (2018). Mindful at School.
  2. Killingsworth, M; Gilbert, D. (2010). A wandering mind is an unhappy mind.