Fostering Mindfulness in Children - my experience
What started out as attempting to get my three-year-old to take deep breaths while she battled against going to sleep quickly became an interest in how else I could get her to be more mindful.
My next step was taking a walk in the garden before bed as part of the winding down routine. We walk slowly hand in hand on warm summer evenings around the garden commenting on as much as possible. The feeling of the grass between our toes, the smells of the different flowers, the movements of the chickens and the sounds of the neighbourhood humming around us.
Then I really started to think about what other ways I could get her to look differently at the world. I found that the bedtime routine was going to play a huge role, and hopefully allow for a more calm moment that a screaming match about how she is not tired (you know the ones!). They seemed to always result in me closing the door on her, which never left either of us feeling great!
Every night as we lay there after reading a book I just started asking "what was the best part of you day?" she answered and then one day she started to ask me in return. Now she often beats me to the punch and asks the question first!
So, I have written a gratitude journal for about three years now which has added exponential value to my personal growth. But this is where I came unstuck with my pre-schooler. A bit too young to be writing and not yet able to comprehend the word gratitude. So instead we went verbal and used the words "what do you love?". Her response every time is simply "you Mumma". As heartwarming as it is, I am always hoping for a new answer.
I'm looking forward to growing in this experience together and it has been a big lesson for me in the knowledge that kids are already pretty mindful. I guess the goal is not to let it leave them.
Would love to hear any more tips you have to keep the ball rolling for me, please leave me a comment below. Also would love to hear your journey!