Mindfulness at home

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At home

Mindfulness

How can I support mindfulness at home?


Many parents who recognize the benefits of this training want to integrate mindfulness at home. In many cases, children are more responsive at school than at home, but here are some suggestions for encouraging mindfulness at home.


Mindfulness Lessons


Ask your child to teach you how to do mindfulness. Much of mindfulness is empowering children to recognize their own capacity to affect their experience in a positive way.  If they teach you, it will reinforce their understanding and give them a sense of ownership. You might be delighted to witness what they’ve absorbed! If you or your child needs some guidelines, you can use the suggestions below.


Formal practice at home with your child


• Do mindfulness together regularly. Commit to keeping mindfulness a priority.

   

• Make mindfulness part of a daily routine. Do it before bed, before homework, or before “screen time.”


• Be consistent in:

     o Time: Practice at the same time each day.

     o Environment: If possible, create a calm, quiet space for mindfulness.

     o Length of practice: 1-3 minutes per day can do a lot.


• Keep it simple. Just do what’s easy. A little mindful listening and a little mindful breathing each day can begin to change the tone or mood of the household.


• Get a vibratone, singing bowl, or similar chime to practice mindful listening. There are phone apps like InSight Timer and others that are also helpful.


• Approach this together. If mindfulness is new to you, let your child be the guide.


Informal practice at home


You can use or refer to mindfulness anytime.


• Prompting children to “notice how you are feeling right now” momentarily guides them inside. When you do this regularly they will start to notice, unprompted, more often. (Watch out for using this as a disciplinary tool instead of as a means for curiosity and inner exploration.)


• If there is a particularly emotional situation, ask your child if there is anything they’ve learned in mindfulness that might help them at that moment. Ask them where they feel that emotion in their body and what happens when they gently notice that emotion and take some mindful breaths.


• It’s usually not helpful to suggest mindfulness at the height of a difficult moment. Wait until the situation has settled some. When your child is calmer talk about what happened. Ask how mindfulness might have helped in that moment? This increases the likelihood of them remembering to apply mindfulness next time.

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