School mornings can be chaotic and hectic for families trying to get kids dressed, fed, and ready for class on time. This is why many parenting experts recommend following routines to ensure a smooth and peaceful start to the day. Unfortunately, stressful moments for students do not always end when the first bell rings, as many kids experience feelings of worry and unease at school. So, what tools and skills can we equip them with to make a positive difference? This is a topic that Michelle Faber, CEO of Busy Minds Ed., knows all about. In her latest guest blog with the Teachers on Call online and in-person tutoring service, she shares techniques and strategies to incorporate mindfulness into morning routines to help students start the school day right. Take a deep breath and read on!
Mindfulness education is a popular topic among teachers and researchers looking at how techniques to calm the body and mind can benefit students. Many experts believe advantages include a decrease in anxiety and an increase in focus and academic engagement in school. In fact, according to a new Cornell study, students who practice mindfulness before the start of class experience an improvement in reading comprehension and fluency. For all these reasons, the Teachers on Call in-person and online tutoring service wanted to explore how students can incorporate mindfulness as a tool for mental wellness and happiness. In this guest blog with children’s mental health advocate, Michelle Faber, ideas are shared on how to incorporate mindfulness into a morning routine. While popular times to reflect may be back-to-school time, or the start of a new calendar year, there is truly no right time to implement helpful changes. To start with a positive affirmation, you can do this!
As parents, we hold the power to shape our children's school days by establishing mindful morning routines. As we step into each new day, we have a unique opportunity to shape our children's school experience through mindful morning routines. These routines can create a calm and positive environment that not only enhances your child's readiness and focus but also introduces them to the incredible benefits of mindfulness. In this blog post, I'll offer guidance and practical suggestions to help you establish mindful morning routines while shedding light on the advantages of introducing mindfulness to your child.
The Essence of Mindfulness in Mornings
Before we dive into the specifics, let's understand the essence of mindfulness in the context of morning routines. Mindfulness is about being fully present in the moment, embracing it with non-judgmental awareness. By incorporating mindfulness into your child's morning, you set the stage for a day filled with intention, positivity, and focus. Bonus: mindfulness enhances their ability to focus and pay attention, making it easier for them to engage in schoolwork effectively.
Breathing Exercises for Morning Serenity
Begin your child's day with a sense of calm through simple breathing exercises.
Here's a quick, kid-friendly routine:
Morning Belly Breaths: Start by taking a deep breath together, inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling gently through the mouth. Repeat this three times. This practice helps calm the mind and prepares your child for the day ahead.
Wake-Up Stretch: After your breath exercise, encourage your child to do a gentle wake-up stretch. Stretching wakes up the body and brings a sense of energy and readiness to the morning.
The Power of Morning Affirmations
Positive affirmations are an incredible way to boost your child's confidence and set a positive tone for the day. Here are some kid-friendly affirmations they can use:
"I am ready for today's challenges."
"I am a kind and caring friend."
"I believe in myself."
"I can do anything I set my mind to!"
Incorporating these affirmations into your morning routine allows your child to start the day with a positive mindset and self-assurance. Consider printing out positive affirmations and reading them together, or pasting them to a mirror in your child’s room.
Crafting Your Mindful Morning Routine
Now, let's piece together your mindful morning routine:
- Wake Up Gently: Use soft lighting or a gradual alarm clock to wake your child peacefully.
- Breathing Exercise: Start the day with a few deep breaths to help your child center themselves and set a calm tone. I love to use these breathing maps as a visual tool to teach deep breathing.
- Morning Stretch and Body Awareness: Encourage your child to do gentle stretches to wake up their body and increase awareness of physical sensations. Visuals are a great tool to guide them with their poses.
- Positive Affirmations: Practice affirmations together, tailoring them to your child's unique strengths and needs. Some examples could be: “I am a kind and caring friend,” or “I can do anything I set my mind to!”
- Tech-Free Zone: Keep distractions at bay by avoiding screens until after your child is ready for school.
- Nutritious Breakfast: Fuel your child's body and mind with a balanced breakfast.
- Setting Intentions: Discuss the day ahead, encouraging your child to set positive intentions and goals. You can say something like, 'What's something positive you'd like to happen at school today?' Your child might respond with, 'I want to be a good friend and help someone if they're feeling sad.' It's a small yet impactful practice that can make a big difference in their overall attitude and behavior throughout the school day.
- Family Connection: Enjoy breakfast as a family, fostering meaningful conversations and connections.
Embracing mindful morning routines with breathing exercises and positive affirmations can transform your child's school experience. By following these suggestions, you create a nurturing environment that equips your child with the tools they need to thrive academically and emotionally. Remember, consistency and love are the keys to success.
Share these ideas with fellow parents and, if you have questions or seek further guidance on mindful parenting, don't hesitate to reach out to me. Here's to mindful mornings and a bright school journey ahead!
About Michelle Faber:
If you like these meditative and calming tips, check out Michelle Faber’s previous guest blogs with us here. Michelle and her family are based in Toronto, Ontario. For more mindfulness inspiration, check out busyminds.ca
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