Mindful in May - Introducing ‘mindfulness’ into your little loves backpack

We all want our children to grow up to be resilient, confident and independent right?

But at what age do we start to introduce and discuss mindfulness, emotions and how those things affect our minds and bodies?

The kindergarten, preschool or daycare backpack is a fabulous starting point as it allows mindfulness to naturally follow through to the beginning of primary school.

Take yourself back to the age when you had your very first backpack. There was an element of pride and ‘I’m so grown up vibes’ mashed together with nervousness and overwhelm as we ventured out for the first time without the safety and reassurance of our parents.

For some of us, our butterflies were more like baby dinosaurs.

Empowering children to tune into awareness about being mindful and present allows them a level of independence and resilience that will reward them for a lifetime. Ahhh what a gift right?!

As we journey on through life into adulthood it is certainly more difficult to practice mindfulness. With a never-ending to-do list, a full plate and the internal narrative that mindfulness is a luxury, it is easy to pop it on the back burner and let the idea simmer until the pot boils over forcing you to sit up and take notice.

Trying to practice mindfulness in adulthood is so so challenging especially if it was a foreign topic when you were growing up.

Starting early is a game-changer!

So back to the kiddies ... while they are young and pliable, mindfulness, self-awareness and self-care all need to be gently introduced and implemented during childhood so that they become second nature in adulthood.

So what exactly is mindfulness and why is it so dang important for our little loves?

Taken from an excerpt from Berkley University, California is possibly one of the most succinct yet simple definitions of ‘Mindfulness’.

“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.”

Introducing mindfulness in microdoses in everyday situations helps our kiddies understand that it can be a simple part of our daily routine, like brushing our teeth, tying our shoelaces or remembering to empty out our backpacks (that one seems to slip through the gaps doesn’t it? Hehe).

To encourage and empower your little ones to embrace mindfulness, here are some tips to help :
• Invite and welcome conversation about feelings and where they sit in your body.
• Encourage them to tune into their senses … what can they smell, see and hear?
• During a car ride invite them to be in the present moment and not talk about the past or present.
• Practice some breathing techniques during quiet times to help them with calming tools when needed.

Here’s hoping that by teaching your little loves the simple practice of mindfulness, reminds you to take a few moments for yourself to lean into the present moment and to tune into your own feelings.

Happy May!