So, what is mindfulness anyway and is this really something your toddler can do? Mindfulness is ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing. This is something that I have been working on for myself but I never thought about practicing this with Sofia.
We were recently introduced to Zafooz, a company that created peaceful plush animals to introduce simple mindfulness practices to children. I read every word on their site, did my research, and after receiving our very own zafoo cushion, I was ready to introduce mindfulness to my toddler, through breathing practices.
One important message that I took away from the Zafoo blog was
“we often ask our children to be quiet, settled down and be still. We expect children to automatically know how to manage their thoughts, feelings and emotions without teaching them how. But what if we could teach them how to quiet themselves and settle into stillness?”zafooz.com
Wow, I don’t know about you, but I have never taught my kid how to be still, or how to be quiet… did she even know what those words meant when I was asking her to “be quiet”… I’m not sure. But now things are changing, thanks to our Lotus Ladybug and Mindful Monkey, we are practicing mindfulness by learning how to breath, how to be calm, and what quiet means.
Here’s our routine:
Everyday before nap time and before bed we have 30 minutes of quiet time. First, we start with a mindful breathing exercise. We both sit comfortably on our zafoo cushions, close our eyes, take three deep breathes (I say out loud “lets take a deep breath” each time” then we sit in silence (usually for like 5-20 seconds) once we are done, Sofia “reads” quietly before going to sleep.
That’s it, our mindfulness exercise is super simple, and easy. I do not have high expectations, I just want her to try and do what I do. When we first started she was not sitting still on the cushion and she wouldn’t even close her eyes, but we are making progress, she can now sit still, with her eyes closed, in silence for about 10 seconds. I sit next to her in silence for 20 seconds just to set an example…I know she will get there soon. She is 2.5 so anything is a success in my eyes.
Tips to help you get started
- Be prepared: Do your research and figure out what type of mindfulness activities you want to introduce to your child.
- Be an example: During your practice, be sure to show your child how to sit still, show them how to take a deep breath, show them how to be quiet. They need to know what it is your are expecting. And, explain why you are doing those things.
- Be positive: These activities should always be a good thing! So never force your child to practice mindfulness. Continue to lead by example.
- Be consistent: As parents we know that children thrive with routines, so make your mindfulness activities a habit so your child can be successful
- Be patient: Everything takes time so don’t have high expectations.
Also, the Zafooz website has some great resources, so be sure to check those out. And, if you want to get a zafoo cushion for your little one you can save 15% on your purchase by using the promo code breatheBhappy. (Valid until July 22, 2019)
This post was created in partnership with MomsMeet. All opinions are 100% my own