We are busy. Routines often begin early in the morning and end with little energy late into the night. This continues all week, all, month, and most of the year. Just like this takes a toll on adults, it has a huge effect on children. Over the last decade there has been a large increase in anxiety and ADHD in children. There is not one root cause as no two children are alike, but there has been a shift in the normal way a family function. Children nowadays are exposed to constant changes, quick data, loads of information, and advanced technology, all said to add to the problem. Parents are now searching for alternative methods to control their child’s disorders, as medication alters the mood and emotions and can take doctors years to prescribe a perfectly balanced concoction. One such method is mindfulness. This is not difficult for adults to comprehend but it is difficult for them to practice, however in the case of children, they face challenges both comprehending and practicing this method. It takes patience and practice from both parents and children, but the benefits result in a brighter and more positive outlook on life and future for the child.
Benefits of Introducing Children to Mindfulness
There are several benefits to introducing children to the concept of mindfulness. Children need a more interactive and fun way to practice, as we all know it is impossible to get them to stop squirming! This allows parents to get creative when teaching and practicing with their kids. Every effort is worth it due to the fact that these benefits can help construct a confident individual with a clear awareness of their mental health and how to control it. We will now take a deeper look at these benefits specifically.
First of all is the all-important self-esteem. Many children understand that they are an individual but struggle with comprehending what that means. Mindfulness positively improves their self-esteem as they begin to utilize a method that helps them understand their feelings and emotions. Growing up can be difficult and it is filled with uncertainty but shedding light on those sensations allow children to tackle uncertainty confidently.
This boost in confidence can lead to a more positive body image giving children the tools and knowledge to understand their body from the inside out. This is especially important in today’s society with a rise in bullying, suicides, and mass shootings. Children who are more confident and aware exhibit less violence and are more likely to flourish into healthy mindful adults.
Decrease Stress and Anxiety
These disorders have spiked in adults and have had a direct effect on children. There are many children who suffer daily with these disorders, becoming deeply emotion and sometimes acting out in response to their inability to comprehend. Teaching a child what those emotions mean and how they may be triggered can help them deal with the disorder, leading to a more preventative approach rather than the ‘masking’ approach resulting from medication.
Helping Children Understand
This is a method to test the positive effects of mindfulness practices on parents as it takes lots of time and patience to get children practicing. The most important thing is to make the explanation age appropriate and of course, fun. The more communicative children are the more emotionally stable they become as adults, which is something the world is in dire need of. Think about taking popular methods like meditating, yoga, or walking and add a fun game to it. Get children drawing or colouring having them bring awareness to the way that they are feeling at present and if and when it changes. Many children function better on a set schedule for the simple fact that nothing unexpected can sway their mood. Just as they run to the television every Saturday, take a small portion of the day to focus on mental health and emotional awareness, even if it’s only a few minutes.
A Note to Parents
Parents have their own set of challenges when introducing the concept of mindfulness to their children. One crucial tip is to make sure and practice mindfulness, nothing sharpens your comprehension like participating in the task itself. This will also ensure that you possess the control to take a calming approach when initiating the topic and motivate you to proceed until you succeed. Once the practice is initiated, make sure to be open and tranquil, giving the child a safe space to express their feelings. You want to avoid any initial judgements that might cause children to suppress those emotions. It can also be helpful and useful to introduce an award system, congratulating the child for bringing awareness to emotions, noticing sensations, and expressing what they feel at present.
The benefits of practicing mindfulness outweigh any turmoil that may come with introducing the topic to children. This may be the key to diminishing these dark disorders that have sprung up recently and that have led to a scarier and more insecure society. Beginning to become emotionally and physically aware as a child makes for a more confident and aware individual that can hopefully go out into the world and spread love and kindness instead of bullying others. Todays children are going to grow to be leaders and innovators that keep the world running in the future, making their emotional state crucial to the future and further existence of mother earth. The control will be in their hands but for now, it is in ours.