31 May 4 Ways To Bring Mindfulness To Your Family
Who doesn’t love to play games? It’s the perfect way to unwind at home surrounded by the people you love and fill the room with laughter and energy! And it is even a great way to introduce kids to mindfulness facts or tips!
Whether it’s Memory or Snakes and Ladders (the classics) or even something more advanced like a card game, bringing the family together increases the bond between one another and you get to impart valuable skills to your children.
From learning about one another, to understanding how sharing and good sportsmanship works, kids can grow in an enthusiastic home and feel encouraged to leave behind the games of an electronic screen.
After reading the list below, you will feel like organizing an official game night at your home too!
Teaches thinking and fine motor skills: Let’s say you buy a toddler the game: Let’s Go Fishing. At the start they might catch zero fish. By the end of the day, you’ll see that he or she learned to catch them, and by the end of the week, they’ve become a master. Game night is a perfect time to teach new skills because we the parents are with them to guide them through the process! It’s fun to challenge kids too (we discover how they think)!
Teaches kids to share: Some kids aren’t very good at sharing. They give their sibling a toy and say “I’m sharing” but then after 5 seconds take it back and say “My turn!” Your kids are definitely on the right track (however small the sharing time lasted for) but there are ways to implement social skills through games. Let’s say the first time they played Lets Go Fishing, you let them play alone, for the first week. But then, the first time the family sat down to play ,she/he had realized that half the fish were gone and they started to get mad and maybe even tried to take your fishing poles away. That’s when you teach him/ her how to play the game with others, with us
Teaches toddlers good sportsmanship: We also have to teach them about good sportsmanship. Even if you haven’t been able to teach them about winning or losing yet, you have to encourage them to not try to take fish from the ones who caught more, for themselves. Tell them to use their fishing pole and catch some too! To add more to your pile, you need to work for them. Even when someone else has more fish, you can all say, Good Game! The winner gets to win, but it’s just a game and it’s about having fun
Everybody gets to Unplug: Families need to pull away from the detrimental habit of TV viewing. Children are very perceptive. As they observe you on your laptop or constantly texting on the phone, upon growing up, they will want to copy that too. So it’s really important that you set a good example by meditating together, and showing your kids how easy it is to unplug when they need a break!
So, at home, let everything go for dinner and have real conversations. Family mindfulness is a 100% about the people we are with. I think as the years go by, unplugging as a society is going to get worse, so you’d want to instil this unplugging nature in your kids from an early age!
Nehita is a mindfulness expert who writes extensively on lifestyle management, wellness and ways to lead a healthier and a happier life. She is a part of Aware’s expert team on meditation. She is also an avid artist who spends most her time dribbling amazing stories through art.