Anxiety and stress is the evil of our time and not only children suffer them, adults are not exempt from going through moments like this. If you notice that your children are stressed and feel anxiety, something is wrong! It is time to act, but many times we do not know how to do it. Apply mindfulness techniques at home can help us raise happy children and, above all, to control these situations of anxiety and stress.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion. It accompanies us from beginning to end. When anxiety is very high and causes suffering to the person, in this case to children, the most harmful consequence in the short and long term is precisely that, the immense suffering that it generates, which ends up making the person feel intensely unhappy and unhappy. many times ends up diminishing self-esteem and the desire to face life with confidence and passion.
Today's boys and girls are overstressed and demanded from an early age. For what is this?
- The school schedule, already intense, is completed with multiple extracurricular activities.
- Fathers and mothers often project our wishes and expectations onto children generating without being aware of it a demand that sometimes only causes frustration.
- In addition, today's children receive an 'overdose' of stimulation, much of it through technology, which leads them to be in a state of semi alert and without rest for their nervous system.
The anxiety and stress of the parents is not that it is contagious in itself, but without a doubt we parents transmit a way of coping with life to our children. In the daily routine, children see us 'work' and learn a coping model from us. If it has an anxious character, children are exposed to it.
Something that can alert us that the child is going through a situation of stress or anxiety is that many behaviors appear that we could call compulsive. With shopping, with mobile, with food ... A 'want more', 'the next, without rest'. Yes, it is true that, it depends on the age of the children we could see different behaviors, but this pattern is repeated regardless of it.
There are children who can manifest physical symptoms (stomach aches, headaches, skin rashes) or through behavior (they move more or sleep worse). If they are older, they may even verbalize it.
Parents have to teach children to stop, to become aware, to be reflective, to think..... It is very important to educate with emotional intelligence so that children make contact with what they feel and with what they think, to manage their emotions and, ultimately, their life in the best way, because this reverts to a feeling subjective of greater happiness.
We cannot put our children in a bubble, because stressful situations and difficulties are part of the life path, but we can invest in them being able to manage life with the best tools that make them capable and happy human beings.
Without a doubt, mindfulness is an extraordinary tool that adults can integrate into our daily lives for the good of our little ones. And it is that, conscious parents are capable of raising happier children, as the title of the book that J.Kabat Zhin writes with his wife reads. Mindfulness in everyday life becomes a vital attitude, a way of life. Parents first have to integrate it into their life and then educate 'from that place'. How?
- That everyone can speak freely of what he feels without judging or censuring.
- Promote and facilitate the connection with emotions, teaching to name and feel them.
- Find spaces to talk about each one.
- Share a moment of silence.
- Perform breathing exercises as a game. For example, they can put their favorite stuffed animal on the belly and play with the doll to move up and down with the movement of the abdomen.
In this way, spaces for sharing, moments of reflection and why not, of silence or meditation would be opened (adapted, of course, to the children's ages). Ideally, make it natural, insert it into your routine as something else.
Text: Mayte Helguera, psychologist and mindfulness expert.
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