Mindfulness (being in the present moment) is great for children. There is a body of research that indicates it can help children improve their abilities to pay attention, calm down and regulate emotion.
One easy way for children to dip their toes into mindfulness is through body poses e.g. different animals. To get your children excited, tell them that doing fun poses can help them feel strong, brave, and happy. Ask the children how they feel after a few rounds of trying either of these poses.
This pose is practiced by standing with the feet just wider than the hips, fists clenched, and arms reached out to the sky, stretching the body as tall as possible.
The Wonder Woman:
This pose is struck by standing tall with legs wider than hip-width apart and hands or fists placed on the hips.
On the subject of superheroes, this can be a related “next step” to teach children how to stay present.Instruct your kids to turn-on their “Spidey senses,” or the super-focused senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch that Spiderman uses to keep tabs on the world around him.
Using all five sentences (Grounding Techniques) can encourage children to pause and focus their attention on the present. It is also a useful distraction technique to reduce anxiety.
Children’s Weather Report
As your children to describe the weather outside with as many adjectives as they can.
Ask your children to describe how they are feeling at the moment using words to describe the weather – this allows children to identify their present state without over identifying with their emotions.
Ask your children to tell you what makes them happy and why
Ask your children to give you examples of when they have been kind
Talk to your children about why being kind is important
Ask your children to think about things that people have done that have been nice for them and be thankful of that.
Discussing Corona Virus with your children:
Be present. Chat to your children about their feelings and emotions.
Create an open and supportive environment, where children feel free to ask questions, will help them to cope during stressful times.
Do not force children to talk unless they are ready.
Answer questions honestly.
Use words a child can understand.
Acknowledge the child’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Let them know their questions and concerns are important.
Be reassuring, but don’t make unrealistic promises. It is fine to let children know that they are safe in their house but you can’t promise that there will be no cases of coronavirus in your community.
Let children know that there are lots of people to help.
Children learn from watching their parents and teachers and listening to their conversations. Stay calm and be thoughtful about what you say.
Keep perspective and take information from reliable sources – government and public health, not social media and rumours.