When I think about teaching mindfulness to young children, my mind jumps to the importance of practicing gratitude. When we are in the mindset of appreciating experiences, we increase our ability to notice the good in the ‘ordinary’. What a gift that ability is.
Now, if you’re thinking that your child is too young to understand the concept of gratitude, hold onto your socks because they are about to be knocked off. We started a gratitude practice with our oldest son when he was around 2. Here’s an example of how it went:
Parent: What a day we had! My favorite part was ______. That made me feel ________. I’m grateful that happened because _______. What was your favorite part of the day?
Child: Playing with _______. Going _______.
Parent: Oh right, I loved that as well! How did you feel when you played with that, or when you went to ______ ?
Parent: My body feels ______ when I talk about the things I’m grateful for today. What about you?
Sometimes talking about my favorite things makes me feel excited, and other times it makes me feel calm and happy. I’m especially grateful that I spent time with one of my favorite people today- you.
Note: these conversations were had at bedtime because, typically, kids are in a relaxed state and are more willing to reflect on their day. There were certainly nights where our kiddo was too distracted or tired to share what he was grateful for, but I tried my best to model gratitude by sharing my own highs of the day.
As our boys mature, I’ve been searching for tools and products that facilitate a gratitude practice and will help to develop a ‘growth mindset’. You guys…I found the BEST little journal for kiddos that does just that and more!!
It’s called “Heart of a Hero”, created by Spark Journals. This journal is packed with activities that encourage gratitude, resilience, mindfulness, and build confidence. I was literally giddy flipping through the pages because I am SO happy that products like this exist!! How amazing that children can work to form a healthy mindset from a young age! Our five year old loves having his very own journal, and even though he is unable to read, he is fully engaged thanks to the superhero themed illustrations. I love that this journal gives us an opportunity to bond while we both learn tools to become our best self.
Aaaaaand, it gets even better: Spark Journals is offering you a 15% discount on the journal until March 31, 2021- start the car!! Use the code MINDFULMIGHTY15 to snag the discount and I promise you’ll love it.
More information here: https://sparkjournals.com/