RESEARCH NOTES: incorporating mindfulness breathing with kids – when to do it?
mindfulness process:
BELLY BREATHING
  • lie down or sit with feet on ground
  • put hands on belly
  • breath into your belly
  • feel your belly rise and fall
  • count 5 breaths or set a timer for 1 min

WHEN TO PRACTICE
It’s a good question about how to incorporate mindfulness practices into a daily routine. One rule of thumb, is to practice doing it during moments of calm [eventually, you can weave it into stressful situations, but the child will be better able to learn it when they’re relaxed].

BEING A ROLE MODEL
I would incorporate it whenever you can into your own life [in front of the child, so he sees when/how you do it].  You might comment to him, “I’m going to take a few breadths, to relax myself…” This might be great when you find yourself over-reacting – you might then explain to him you realize you’re very heated, and you’re going to take a moment to breath to calm down.  Then when you’re calm, he’ll experience how you’ve shifted, because you took that moment to pause.

DAILY ROUTINE
Finding a time to belly breath with him is great [morning or night]. I know it’s hard during busy days for consistency; you can only do your best, it might now always happen! I would also find intermittent times to weave it in. You might even bargain with it…meaning, “Hey Lennie, you can play the video game, but first let’s do 5 breadths together…”

EMPOWERING
I also like to empower the children to take ownership by asking them to teach others the technique.  So you might ask your child to teach the belly breathing to grandpa, his aunt, etc.

Kai

Kai Kleinbard
executive functioning coach and Alexander Technique teacher
director of bodyLITERATE and Institute for Playful Beings
info@thebodyliterate.com
9176939960
thebodyliterate.com
playfulbeings.com

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