Creative Child

Mindfulness for Families Amidst a Pandemic

by Rebecca Eanes

Mindfulness for Families Amidst a Pandemic

Teaching Kids Mindfulness

Once you have practiced mindfulness yourself for a few days and feel both comfortable with the practice as well as the benefits to your own mind and body, you can begin to teach this to children. Our kids are dealing with a lot of changes right now, and that will likely be accompanied by anxious thoughts and big emotions. Teaching mindfulness will equip them with the skills to cope. In addition to bringing children into the fold as you listen to a short guided meditation and talking to them about the emotions they may be feeling during this time, there are a few exercises you can do with your child to help them develop awareness.

  1. Focus on breaths. Have your child practice “smelling and cooling the soup.” Have them take a deep breath in through the nose as if they’re smelling something delicious, and blowing out the breath through the mouth as if they’re trying to cool a hot bowl of soup. Practice this often and remind them to do this when they’re feeling upset or anxious.
  2. Engage the senses. Smell different scents such as candles or spices. Touch different textures like cardboard or fluffy pets and describe how they feel. Listen to the sound of a bell, singing bowl, or calming music. Anything that requires them to focus on their senses is heightening awareness.
  3. Teach body awareness by playing a game like Simon Says. “Simon says balance on your left leg.” “Simon says raise your right arm slowly.” “Simon says walk gently like you’re stepping on eggshells and trying not to break them.”
  4. Take a mindful walk. Pay close attention to the scurrying squirrels, the babbling brook, or the scent of freshly cut grass. Ask your kids to notice and point out these things as you walk.
  5. Keep a journal. Your kids could write down something they learned or something they’re grateful for. They could journal about their thoughts or just doodle in the book to relieve stress. Journaling is a great way to gain insight into one’s own thought processes and express feelings.

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I hope that these mindfulness practices will help ease the anxiety and fear your family may be feeling during this time. Above all, reassure one another that together, we will get through this.

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 

 

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