Mindfulness & Kids
To say that this year has been stressful is an understatement! I do my best to stay positive, take care of my mental and physical health, and most importantly, practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. When we get caught up in the past, it’s depressing. When we worry about the future, it can be anxiety-producing. Focusing on the present is what matters most in life and what brings us the most joy. Being mindful also helps us feel calmer and at ease.
Children are like giant sponges and they pick up on everything. It’s been challenging for kids especially as they adapt to the new normal. They hear adults talking and may get scared. They don’t have their regular sense of routine or get to see their friends like they used to. I think it’s extremely important to help kids find a way to also be mindful and stay present. Many kids naturally get lost in the moment and are much better at adults at seizing the day. But, kids can also get worried about the future or question why things can’t be like they were.
I’ve found some really awesome useful ways to help my boys practice mindfulness and in doing so they are truly grateful for all that we have right here and now.
Zen Pig Books
The Zen Pig books are some of our all-time favorites. The Wonder We Are, All That is Needed and The Art of Gratitude are books that teach children to cherish what they have and who they are.
I love the artwork and the messages in all of Mark Brown’s books. He is a father himself and just has such a beautiful way of teaching mindfulness to kids; and adults! I always feel something magical after reading these.
My son, William, one of my 3-year-old twins is attached to his Mindful Buddiez. Mindful Buddiez introduces children to the concept of mindfulness through their stuffed animals.
William loves his Omi the elephant who helps him feel more relaxed and to take deep breaths. William will even stop sometimes and say, “ok I just took a deep breath mom”. It is seriously the cutest! I think this concept is great and so relatable for kids. I mean who doesn’t love a stuffed animal and especially when it can really help you feel so good and calm?
New Yoga and Meditation classes for the entire family are now up on Peloton. I was SO excited to film these classes especially with so many kids having different school schedules.
Parents and kids can sneak in some exercise, meditation, breathing, and mindfulness all at once. Peloton family yoga includes twenty-minute yoga classes designed for kids and tweens as well as 5-minute meditations for all ages!
Chi Universe makes the cutest yoga mats with symbols on them to help kids learn yoga postures and good alignment. I feel like the designs help my kids focus too.
I can say put your hands on the hearts and knees on the triangles for cat/cow or walk your feet to the raindrops for a downward dog. The mats also have a cool poster that comes with them (Timothy taped his up in his room); and there’s also an app and a Phreeze Yoga card game as well.
Love Powered Co.
Love Powered Co. makes “I am” affirmation decks for adults and kids. I really believe in mantras, positive affirmations, and the power of positivity to help kids feel empowered and confident.
When children tap into their inner strength, they are naturally more at ease and at peace which helps them stay centered and present. We each choose one of the Love Powered Co. littles cards each morning and the boys practice what their card says. It’s a great way to start off the day with a little mantra meditation.
The Buddha board is inspired by the Zen idea of living in the present moment. You can paint on the surface with water and then the water evaporates and you have a clean slate again. It’s like clearing the mind and then creating a new masterpiece. The boys really love it. I think the design is so simple and elegant. I admit I’ve found myself using this quite often too!
These interactive activities for kids are all about promoting and teaching mindfulness. Created by a mompreneur with kids in mind, these guided exercise and mantras for kids, help to cultivate kindness during their every day interactions. The activities come in beautifully handcrafted boxes as well.
I’d love to know what you’re practicing with your kids these days to stay calm and mindful. In a world that is somewhat turbulent right now, we can always find some inner peace. It’s so important to raise our kids with kindness, compassion, and mindfulness. I tell my boys, “In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precise as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.” ~Victoria Moran
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!