In a world where electronics rule behavior and disconnection is a rising problem, our next generation needs to learn how to build the muscle of awareness. Yet the fast-paced nature of our culture can carry kids’ attention in a million places at once, causing stress, confusion, and an inability to focus.
Mindfulness can teach kids how to fend off negative thoughts and behaviors, build self-confidence, focus, creativity, and treat others and themselves with respect and appreciation. It can also teach them how to become more aware of their surroundings, their feelings, their thoughts, and their actions.
Yet, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, only 1.6 percent of U.S. children practice meditation. Developing this awareness skill early in life—through mindfulness and meditation practices—can help them become better capable of handling stress when they get older. Why wait until later in life to teach mindfulness tools that will last children a lifetime?
Whether you’re a mom, dad, auntie, grandmother, teacher, nanny or otherwise spend time with kids, try these 15 different ways to introduce kids to mindfulness.