The British winter is well acquainted with the old “winter blues” – and the chances are if we’re feeling it, the kids are too. Research suggests that mindfulness is just as important for little minds than what it is for us oldies, as they are still developing their coping strategies and emotions. Even though your child’s playful day to day life may seem easy compared to our own, we still need to acknowledge that they may be going through struggles of their own. Speaking of which, it’s so important for parents to do as much as they can to look after their little one’s mental health during winter. Don’t know where to start? Have a read of these top tips to encourage mindfulness with your kids…
Go On A Long Walk
One of the best things about winter is the crisp fresh air that the season offers. So, when it comes to encouraging mindfulness with your child, don’t forget about the wonders that a nice long walk can do for the soul. When walking with your child, remember to move at the pace of their own footsteps, as opposed to taking the leadership position as a parent. Psychologically, doing this will assure your little one that they don’t have to rush and can take all the time that they need. As well as this, being in synchronisation with your child’s footsteps will encourage a conversation to take place between the pair of you. Whatever it is that’s on their mind, your little one may be more likely to open up to you on this walk.
Practice Mindful Eating
Now, you may remember the scene from the hit Disney film Ratatouille where Remy encourages his brother to fully use his senses to enjoy what he’s eating. As trivial as this may sound, why not use this practice on your children? For instance, perhaps cook them a meal that they have never tried before and ask them to detect what ingredients or flavours they may be coming across? As well as enticing curiosity, this practice may make your child more appreciative of the food that’s on their plate.
Practice Breathing Exercises With Your Child
Every child is different. Some may like to retreat to their rooms and channel their emotions privately, while others may want to express themselves overtly. If your child likes to do the latter, then a helpful thing that you can do as a parent is to practice breathing exercises with them. There are several exercises that you can do with your little one, and all you’ve got to do is find a rhythm that works best for the pair of you. When you find the right breathing exercise, stick to this and get into the habit of practising it regularly. Doing this will work wonders for both of you, and not to mention, it’ll be a wholesome bonding activity.
It’s good to be thankful, even if it’s just for the little things. When it comes to your children, just know that it is completely normal for them to be wrapped up in their own heads sometimes, especially when something is going on. However, as a parent, it definitely wouldn’t hurt for you to encourage them to give a little bit of gratitude back. Whether you’ve made them a packed lunch or just treated them to a new toy, always correct them if they are not saying thank you. As your little one gets into the habit of saying thanks often, they will soon realise that they have so much to be grateful for.
Introduce A Mindful Bedtime Routine
At the end of a long winter’s day, it’s so important to practice a relaxing bedtime routine before you nod off. For you, this could be reading a good book or sipping on that soothing chamomile tea. However, for your child, they simply may require a calming bedroom atmosphere or perhaps the reading of a story before bed? When it comes to establishing a bedtime routine, talk to your child about their preferences and what calms them down the most.
Supply Your Kids With Creative Enforcements
Sometimes, all that your child needs is an outlet for them to communicate their feelings on. This can be a journal, a sketch patch, or even an arts and crafts set. Whether it’s pen to paper or paintbrush to canvas, these tools would encourage your little one to communicate their feelings in a way that makes sense to them. Also, from a parent’s perspective, knowing that your child likes to convey their emotions through the use of such supplies would help you to get to know them better.
Where Can I Get These Creative Supplies From?
From various craft sets to calming night lights, leading online retailer Toys for a Pound sells a range of creative toys that encourage mindfulness in children. While you’re on their website, don’t forget to check out the exclusive Kids Toy Generator. This exclusive feature lets you discover some of the best toys for a particular child, based on their age, gender and interests.