[Ad] Pixie will be heading off to school in September so it’s never been more important to start teaching her the value in being well-rested and ready for the day ahead. In 2019 it’s sadly inevitable that children often prefer to use electronics to unwind – but it’s well-documented that this is not actually helpful for restorative downtime. Mindfulness and/or meditation for kids are a far better bet for promoting good mental health and wellbeing in our children.
I’m very aware that once Pixie is in school, being acquainted with technology is going to be beneficial – in fact being denied access to it could be counterproductive and actually hold her back. Yet I’m also cautious of allowing her to become over-stimulated and too reliant on electronic devices.
I want my girls to appreciate the natural world, in every sense. I hope, like me, they’ll gain wellbeing from immersing themselves in nature – and I also hope they’ll respect the environment and feel a responsibility to help take care of it.
So, as with all things in life, balance is key. Here’s how we plan to encourage Pixie to relax and recharge without screen time:
1. Get Outside in Nature
Firstly, it’s about being outdoors. I find there’s literally nothing more rejuvenating than to take a walk at our local RHS, surrounded by the unspoilt beauty of the fauna and flora.
I can arrive feeling overwhelmed with stress or anxiety, yet feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders by the time I leave. There are scientific reasons for that, and so it’s something we promote as a family.
Whether it’s stopping at the park on the way home, playing in the garden while I make dinner, or even just walking home rather than driving, being outside will continue to form a big part of Pixie’s routine.
- Utilising Children’s Books to Support Difficult Conversations
- A Positive Way to Help Your Anxious Child Relax
- Life Lessons to Promote Positivty
2. Meditation for Kids
Meditation is a positive way to combat stress and promote clarity and wellbeing – and there’s no reason that children can’t start from a young age!
– What is Meditation?
Meditation involves emptying and focusing the mind, with the aim of reducing negative feelings such as stress and anxiety, and increasing one’s sense of calm and peace. Techniques include concentrating on your breathing, calming your senses, and exploring different sensations.
The hardest part is putting time aside to dedicate to meditate, and embracing the state of simply being – a concept which is becoming more and more alien in today’s society!
– What Are the Benefits of Meditation for Kids?
The benefits for children are really the same as the benefits for adults:
- Lower levels of stress;
- A greater sense of wellbeing;
- Improved ability to deal with difficult emotions;
- Enhanced self-awareness;
- Increased attention span;
- Improves sleep
– How Can I Teach My Child to Meditate?
The best way to teach your child is to have them meditate with you. There are also plenty of apps and videos available to guide you and your child, and we’ve recently discovered an excellent tool.
I was recently approached by Lunii to review their My Fabulous Storyteller, which is another wonderful way to encourage Pixie to wind down before bed. She can select stories based on her own preferences, which will then be read to her either aloud, or through headphones if she prefers.
One of the available options is a meditation programme, and with the novelty of the gadget which she already loves, this is a really great way to advocate quiet time.
– What is the Best Way for Kids to Practice Meditation?
The best way is whichever way they’re comfortable with, so it becomes routine and forms a healthy habit.
3. Kids Sleep Meditation
I encourage Pixie to wind down with her Lunii storyteller after a bath and a book, before she goes to sleep. (It’s a also a brilliant babysitter for when I need to put her sister to bed!)
4. Calming Sleep Music
Finally, if there are days when Pixie isn’t in the mood for meditation then she can listen to calming music instead. Anything that helps her to relax before lights out is beneficial and endorsed, especially when it increases her confidence and independence!
With two young children, even with Dan’s unwavering support, I still struggle to find much time for myself; but it’s on my agenda to fit in some yoga classes later in the year. I hope that in due course this will be another element of meditation and mindfulness that I can share with the girls.