Welcome back to school! I can’t believe it is Term 3 already! It feels as though this year has really gone quickly!
This is why it is good to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the opposite of rushing or multitasking. It is slowing down to really notice what you are doing. When you are mindful, you are taking your time and are focusing in a relaxed, easy way.
Research has shown that for children, mindfulness has many benefits including:
- Improved attention, focus and cognitive development
- Enhanced social and emotional skills
- Increased resilience
- Improved emotional regulation
- Reduce anxiety and stress
So how does it work? Mindfulness is something you must practice to get good at. The more you practice, the better you get! When you practice a mindfulness activity, it comes naturally when you need it in everyday life. This can help when you’re stressed, have to do something difficult or when you have to focus your attention.
So how do you get started?
Let's try a listening walk.
A listening walk is simply going for a walk with your child, focussing on your surroundings and sharing your findings. Familiar places are great because your child can discover things they haven’t noticed before. A listening walk helps teach your child patience and how to be present in the moment.
How to do a mindful listening walk:
- Ask your child where they would like to walk. Places such as a garden or beach are great as they have natural sounds like leaves rustling or waves crashing
- Ask your child what sounds they expect to hear and why
- Stop often, close your eyes and encourage your child to listen. After a minute or two, ask your child what sounds they heard and why they think they heard them.
Remember to keep it FUN and let your child take the lead! For younger children, adapt the mindful listening walk by seeing if they can make each noise they heard or locate where the sound came from.
For more mindfulness activities check out this site https://theresilienceproject.com.au/at-home/everyone/mindfulness/kids/