SSM Health: Practicing mindfulness with children is also important

MADISON, Wis. —  Take a look around, a deep breath, and pause for a moment to capture how you feel and what’s causing that emotion. Mindfulness is often an intentional way to refocus our feelings, but SSM Health Psychologist Kathleen Hipke says it’s important to work through with our kids, too.

“Kids are already often better than us adults at being very present, which is what meditation is about,” says Hipke. “It’s really just about slowing things down and noticing both what’s happening in your environment and internally. Kids are great at being in the moment and often can be helpful to adults in that regard, but adults also can help kids notice what they’re actually quite skilled at, which is really becoming very involved. For example, in play, maybe digging in the sandbox or looking for bugs in the grass, and just being fully immersed in their experience.”

Dr. Hipke says there are several technology resources to help with mindfulness, especially online, such as a YouTube video for any topic that’s appealing to kids of different ages. She also says several apps are available that help reduce stress or ease getting to sleep.

Our time for kids: recipe for health team is asking what you want to hear about. Let us know what health topics you’re interested in, or share your family’s health story with us, online at ssmhealth.com/timeforkids.