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7 ways to teach kids to slow down and relax

January 28, 2017
in Kids

Ever feel like your family is constantly rushing from one place to the next on a super fast-paced schedule? Weekends are filled with kids’ sports or arts events, grocery shopping, housework, catching up with friends and family and so much more. We fit in as much as we possibly can, right? Each week is just plain full. But we still have to make time and be present with each other. That’s one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. So much revolves around their schedules, too. We need to recognize the need for kids to break free from the confines of that structure. And learning to be mindful carries such benefits for young minds —from decreasing anxiety and stress to strengthening self-control, according to studies like one conducted by Mindful Schools and the University of California. We’ve got some ideas that can help your children slow down and connect with themselves on a deeper level, including: Take time and breathe Have them grab a small stuffed animal and find a comfy spot on the floor. Ask them to lay down and place the animal on their chest. Have them inhale slowly and exhale slowly. Repeat the process several times. Ask them to breathe in thoughts of the day, then try to let go of them as the breath out. Repeat the process, eventually in silence, and let them focus on just that… the quiet. Activate the Spidey senses What’s one thing that all superheroes have in common? Their heightened awareness of their five senses. Focus on one at a time with your child. At the dinner table, ask them to pause between bites to really enjoy the flavor of their food to heighten their sense of taste. When going on a walk outside, ask them to breathe in the air and focus on the sounds around them — the crunching of snow beneath their feet, the distant plane in the sky, the birds chirping in a nearby tree to focus on their senses of smell and hearing. At home, sit together on the couch and snuggle to focus on the sense of touch. Do nothing but sit and enjoy each other’s company, while stroking their hair, holding their hand and simply bringing them peace. Create a calming jar Grab a mason jar or other clear container that has a removeable lid. Fill it almost entirely with water, leaving room for a few different colors of glitter – both dry and glitter glue. Add in a little glycerin or baby oil to the mix. Give the...

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