Mindfulness is the quality of attention that combines full awareness with acceptance of each moment, just as it is—is gaining broad acceptance among mental health professionals as an adjunct to treatment.
Our video is based on the famous book, "Sitting Still Like A Frog"by Eline Snel with a foreword by Jon Kabbat Zinn. It is best done in the night or before going to school, at calm centres or even before a big exam.
It is a fun introduction to mindfulness meditation for children and their parents. In a simple and accessible way, it describes what mindfulness is and how mindfulness-based practices can help children calm down, become more focused, fall asleep more easily, alleviate worry, manage anger, and generally become more patient and aware.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK:
At the age of five, my daughter had trouble falling asleep. Young as she was, she often asked me: "When your body wants to sleep but your head says no, how do you get to sleep?" Sometimes she would still be awake at ten. Before long she was exhausted. And so was I. She kept getting out of bed, kept awake by all the crazy thoughts that were churning around in her head: about Tim, who did not want to play with her anymore; about the goldfish floating belly-up in its bowl; about somebody under the bed who was sure to murder her. Relaxation exercises, bedtime stories, a hot bath, an irritable admonition to "go to sleep like everyone else"--nothing worked. But then I realized that if she paid less heed to the troublesome thoughts that kept popping into her head and slowly shifted her attention from her head down to her belly, she might finally calm down. There were no thoughts in her belly, only her breath, which moved her belly with its gentle rise and fall. A gentle movement. A calming movement. A movement slowly rocking her to sleep.
My daughter is twenty-one now and still does the exercise. Although simple, the exercise really helps you get out of your head and into your belly--where your thoughts cannot get to you, where all is quiet and calm.
Mindfulness--or deliberate, friendly attention--is beneficial not only for children. Parents also like to have a way to free themselves from their relentless stream of consciousness. Thoughts never stop. All you can do is stop interacting with them, stop listening to them.
This was the first mindfulness exercise that my daughter and I did together. It was the first of many. Kids like doing it just before going to sleep.
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