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HOW TO TEACH MINDFULNESS TO KIDS

By Carrie Dorr

I believe teaching mindfulness to kids is crucial in the world in which they live. I am sure you have read some, if not countless articles on the negative effects social media, mobile devices and the internet are having on kids. There is no refuting the efficiencies and benefits technology has brought, nor is there any denying that it will continue on this exponentially crazy fast trajectory.

Being in the health space my entire career and now having 3 young kids, I felt compelled to begin to teach them about mindfulness, which has greatly benefited my life.

Each child is different but at 5 and 6, mine were ready to learn! Below are the three most effective exercises I have used and steps to complete them: Aroma-Pinwheel Breathing, Snowglobe Settling and Sending Good Wishes. Just last night my daughter was having a meltdown before bed, in her sobbing she blurted out she wanted to do “meditation breathing”. I ran to get the snowglobe, oil and pinwheel as we had only practiced in class and not implemented in real life thus far. It totally worked. She settled quickly and went to bed calm. YES! I certainly can’t guarantee it will work every time, as with all things parenting, nothing seems to work every time…but I do believe that with enough repetition, it will become part of their operating system allowing them a chance at achieving that inner peace we all so badly want for them.

Aroma-Pinwheel Breathing

1. Place a dab of an essential oil on one wrist (lavender or frankincense work well). 2. Hold a pinwheel in the other hand- I use these! 3. Inhale sniff your wrist. 4. Exhale blow your pinwheel. Repeat 10x.

Snowglobe Settling

1. Sit down in a comfortable position. 2. Shake the snow globe- these are great! 3. Sit as still as you can and watch for the last piece of snow/glitter to fall. 4. Raise your hand when it happens. Repeat 3x

Sending Good Wishes

1. Sit down in a comfortable position. 2. Option to keep eyes opened or closed. 3. Think of someone you want to send Good Wishes to- this can be a person like your mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparent, teacher, friend etc. or even an animal like your dog or cat! 4. Out loud, each child takes a turn saying- “I send Good Wishes to _______”.

ps- These work for adults as well!