We teach our children mathematics, reading, or how to behave, but we don’t teach them the most important skill in life- how to be happy, and how to cope with the ”life stress” whatever that might be for a little child. To me, teaching my son the basic mindfulness principles and waive it in to the daily life is the most beautiful and crucial skill for one to have for strong healthy mind and emotions. There is nothing more important to learn how to be in peace with yourself.
• It is okay for them to be bored! Not occupying and filling-in each and every moment with activities and your input, and not having them stimulated by the devices-Ipads, tv, Nintendos, is very important. They learn how to just be, how to be creative and occupy themselves by themselves. When my son has free time,I intentionally hide remotes and devices and when he comes to me and says-mommy, I am bord and wants me to fill in his time- I simply answer- Okay. And turn my head away… And than he wonders around me for some time, and eventually finds something to do independently. And this is the whole point! They learn that way HOW TO BE WITH THEMSELFS! Most people don’t have that skill, and than they wonder in search of fulfilling themselves with other people, things, and get ATTACHED! Sometimes in a very self destructing way…
• As important routine is for their wellbeing and development of the children, it can put them on an ”autopilot ” mode, when one stops paying attention to the present moment. And mindfulness principal is to live here and now. feel the presence of every instance. So what I do is I would switch things a little. For example, we would take a different route to school than usual. Than I ask him to notice the ”new”places and things we are passing by. You can apply this to almost all ”usual routine” things you do like in to the bed time routine, or having your meal in a different room. In between activities I often take my son into a backyard, or during our walk with a dog and ask him to notice things that he feels or smell or see. using your senses brings you into a presence.
• We eat our meals as picnic whenever the wether allows -in the nature.
• Deep Belly breathing- or diaphragmatic breathing. We do it daily before he falls asleep. We do a ”competition’ who fills in the belly with more air. You tell them to imagine that belly is a ballon, and they need to fill it in through the nose. I also ”blow the ballon” whenever he is very upset. For smaller children
• Yoga for Children. Signing them into a yoga class might not be possible for many parents due to a busy work schedule. But you can always get a very cute yoga book for children and go trough the poses with them serval times a week. One of my favorite yoga for children book is ”Good night Yoga, a pose by pose bedtime story” by Mariam Gates.
• The last and the most important one is just get silly, goof and tickle with them ad list once a day 😉