Can Mindfulness Help Tame Unruly Kids?

It’s true, no one wants to be that person with the kid that won’t behave.

But when you’ve tried everything and you’re frazzled to the point of bursting, then letting them have their own way does seem like the only solution. Especially when you’re caught up in a whirlwind of things to do and places to be, and the resulting stress filters down to our kids, making them grizzly and difficult to deal with.

Thankfully, there’s an age-old solution on our doorstep. The practice of mindfulness has been around for centuries, and we’re now rediscovering this valuable tool to help cope with the demands of modern living. The beauty of it is, anyone of any age can learn how to do it and the results are always rewarding.

Even a few minutes of stillness can significantly change our brain waves, and the physiological reaction is that the body naturally follows. Once you’ve helped a child reach that state, their whole being will take on a calmer energy and they’ll be able to carry on doing what they’re doing in a more balanced way.

Imagine, no tantrums for the rest of the day – what bliss!

The first step is to teach kids how to be at peace, or in other words, meditate. This is just a simple technique to develop concentration and focus. Mindfulness is just about using that same technique but on a more practical level. By checking in every now and then during day to day activities, kids will be able to stop, switch their thoughts, and produce more positive
outcomes.

To get you started, here’s a really easy mindfulness exercise you and your child can follow:

  1. Find a quiet space where the child can lie down
  2. Use a cushion and light blanket on to keep them comfortable and warm
  3. Turn off noisy appliances like TV and phones. (If it’s not too distracting you can play soft music in the background)
  4. Talk them through a simple guided body awareness meditation (five minutes is enough). Start with asking them to close their eyes, then encourage them to relax their mouth and whole face. Work your way down to shoulders, arms and hands.
    Move on to the chest and belly, then end with legs and feet. If it helps, you can suggest that they visualise a warm, white light as they focus on each part of the body.
  5. When ready, bring them back into the room by asking them to gently wiggle their fingers and toes and move their head from side to side. Ask them how they feel. They should be feeling much calmer!

But it’s not all about the state of the mind. As Louise Hay once said

The food you eat is as important as the thoughts you think

As I mentioned previously, we sometimes find it easier to let kids rule rather face a barrage of screaming. And many a time, the truce will involve some kind of snack. Unfortunately they mostly tend to be of the sugary variety: sweets, chocolates, biscuits
(even just before bedtime!). It may be perfectly acceptable to do this, but in reality it just prolongs the agony. Refined sugar is well known to spike blood sugar levels, making kids’ energy peak and trough erratically.

Avoiding too much sugar will put kids on a more even keel, which in turn offers you an easier life! If you take a look, there’s some great websites  around with fantastic sugar-free recipes, using ingredients like dates and fruit as tasty alternatives.

Our time with our kids is precious, so we should be able to enjoy it. Be patient, be mindful and reap the rewards!

Sue Pickford

Find out more about using mindfulness with your children with CHILL WITH LIL (9781857144703) the book by Sue Pickford, available now on Amazon. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chill-Lil-Sue-Pickford/dp/1857144708

 

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