Just like adults, children and teenagers may benefit from meditation as part of an overall mindfulness practice—but getting them to be open and receptive to practicing meditation may take some effort on the part of parents. Keep reading for tips on how to introduce and teach meditation to children and teens.
Take a minute right now to pay attention to what’s going on around you. What do you hear or see? Do you notice anything new? Now, turn your attention inward. What are you thinking, and how do you feel? Mindfulness—as you just experienced—is tuning into yourself and paying attention to the present moment without judging or analyzing what you are thinking or feeling. Although it seems quite simple, it is not easy. Our busy minds are constantly darting and drifting, telling stories about what has happened in the past and what might happen in the future.
Mindfulness is a strategy that can help us become more fully aware of what’s happening around us and, in turn, feel more fully alive. We’ve probably all heard the word “mindful,” but when we’re talking about mindfulness as an approach to life, we’re talking about something different. We’re talking about very purposefully paying attention to what is going on in the present moment, without worrying about the past or the future, and without judging ourselves in the present. When we are mindful, we focus on our thoughts, feelings, and what is going on in our bodies—and accept whatever that might be. We slow down, and notice the world around us. In the process, we also become aware of things we had no idea we were missing!
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