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Have a Mindful New Year with Kids

Dec 26, 2023

Child Mindfulness

We could all use a little more calm and a little less chaos in the new year. Setting goals to have a more mindful new year can help you achieve much-needed inner peace, but don’t forget to bring your kiddo along for the ride. Mindfulness is for everyone! To be mindful means that you are slowing down and paying more attention to your in-the-moment experience. And, yes! Even your little energy bunny can reap mindfulness benefits. Make mindfulness a New Year’s resolution for the whole family this year!

The Benefits of Having a Mindful New Year

Mindfulness for kids? Let’s make it happen this year. It comes with a wealth of benefits that can help you and your child in almost any area of life. Mindfulness is a golden ticket when it comes to calming down, reducing anxiety, easing depression, and minimizing disruptive behavior. Calmness rules in more ways than one. Additionally, having a more mindful new year improves academic performance and sharpens focus and attention. Even kids with ADHD can experience improvements with mindfulness practices. Get creative with it or follow our guidance. 

Ask More Questions

Having a mindful new year is all about paying attention to what’s happening in the current moment. What better way to stay grounded than to ask your child about their current experience? Open-ended questions are not only mindful. They support language development and encourage critical thinking too. Consider what your child may be experiencing at the moment in relation to activities, emotions, and sensory experiences, and formulate your questions from there. Be intentional about asking more questions from your child, but also make sure you can answer these questions too. Mindfulness can be a two-way street in this case. 

The Meditative Nature of Simple Pen and Paper 

You don’t need to buy anything fancy in order to have a mindful new year. Just grab some paper and a pen. Coloring, journaling, and filling out gratitude journals are all mindful activities that are both good for adults and kids. Putting pen to paper has a way of creating mindful moments, and it’s super easy to do. Schedule some quiet time each day to accomplish these activities. One of the best times to schedule journal, gratitude, and color time is right before bed. Replacing before-bed tech time can also greatly improve sleep. This is a win-win for everyone. For more gratitude examples, take a look at one of our previous blogs here.

Each Mindful Bite

Focus on the present moment with help from food. Eating is a delightful sensory experience enjoyed by friends and family. This year, slow down. Really savor the food that you’re eating and focus on the flavors. Include your kiddo too! Make mealtime a discussion by asking them about how the food tastes and encourage them to reach around 20-30 chews with each bite. You’ll realize how much better food tastes too with a little mindfulness. Keep the tech away from the table too (including the TV!) Distractions decrease your ability to make a moment really mindful. 

Set a 5-Minute Meditation Goal Each Day

Consistency matters over duration every time. You don’t need to be a meditating wizard that can sit for an hour straight right off the bat. Instead, just focus on setting aside a little time every day to be still with deep breaths. Keep those eyes closed as well! Invite your kiddo to join you. Even if they can only sit still for a few seconds, this activity still teaches them about the value of setting aside time for mindfulness. It’s a handy lesson that your child can bring with them into adulthood. Setting an example can be great encouragement for your child as well. Your influence matters! Eventually, your child may want to join you in your meditation practice just because they are seeing you do it. Don’t be afraid to experiment and take this time with a little playfulness and a sense of humor. Little increments at a time will go a long way into the New Year.

A mindful new year is upon you. All you need to do is take action. Will it be a part of your New Year’s resolutions? If your child really struggles with staying in the moment or loses focus at almost every twist and turn of life, it’s time to talk to us about occupational therapy. Reach out to us today.