As adults we are often busy multi-tasking, doing many things at one time. We talk on the phone while checking our emails and watching TV. While making dinner we update our status on Facebook and help the kids with their homework. Our attention is pulled in every direction but we give our full attention to nothing.

“Multi-tasking allows us to screw up two things at once.” Author unknown.

Not only do we harm ourselves with the stress of trying to do too much at once, our kids mimic our behavior. Kids text their friends while doing their homework and watching TV. They are shuttled from school to soccer games to the fast food drive thru. In addition to all that stress, with recent mass shootings and gun violence, kids have to be concerned about their safety. There’s no longer such a thing as a “carefree childhood.”

That’s why it’s important for us to help our children find some quiet and peace in their busy lives. Meditation and mindfulness have been found to help improve memory, attention spans, and decision making while lessening mood disorders and depression. Even simple breath-awareness exercises have been found to improve kids’ social skills, increase their sense of calmness, and lead to better sleep.

Here are some simple techniques to help your kids find mindfulness throughout their day:

  • There are different things your children can focus their attention on.
            o   They can focus on their breathing, emotions, thoughts, or body sensations.

  •  Your children can use their five senses to focus on everyday objects.

            o   A piece of food such as popcorn or raisin incorporates the sense of smell.

            o   Find something that keeps their interest such as a toy, picture, or something in nature.

  • Have your children close their eyes and concentrate on their breathing, in and out.

            o   They can even count their breaths quietly.

Even simple activities like going for a hike or walk, leaving technology behind, can help brings some peace and quiet to you and your children’s lives.  Most of all, set the example, focus your attention to one task at a time, practice mindfulness and meditation, and breathe.



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