Mindfulness Exercises For Kids & Families

Bring more mindfulness to parenting, kids and family life with our free mindfulness exercises, guided meditations, mindfulness worksheets and more. 

Every Moment a Chance to Restart

Every Moment a Chance to Restart

Gil Fronsdal talks about Every Moment is a Chance to Restart. Every moment things start anew is a useful perspective ...
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Mini Meditations To Let Go of Stress

Mini Meditations To Let Go of Stress

Some days you just don't have the time. Practice this minute-long mini-meditation to let go of stress and help you ...
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Thinking

Thinking

Matthew Brensilver talks about the importance of the ways of thinking. There are so many Buddhist teachings, valuable insights which ...
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The Power of Mindfulness Retreats

The Power of Mindfulness Retreats

Reboot and destress from the concerns of daily life with the power of mindfulness retreats. Here are some residential retreats ...
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Flexible Awareness

Flexible Awareness

There are different ways of being aware in meditation. Flexible Awareness is a type of awareness in which you follow ...
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417Hz Wipes Out All the Negative Energy

417 Hz | Wipes Out All the Negative Energy

Listen to this 9-hour long 417 Hz Solfeggio miracle sleep music and wipe out all the negative energy from inside ...
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Meditation Music Relax Mind Body

Meditation Music

Relaxing music to accompany your deep meditation practice for better focus, peace of mind, and even promote restful sleep ...
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Tony-Bernhard

The Simplicity of Karma [Audio]

The Simplicity of Karma, by Tony Bernhard: About Tony Bernhard:Tony Bernhard first encountered the dharma in 1965 and became one ...
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Tranquil Meditation Sleep Music

Tranquil Meditation Sleep Music

7 Mindfulness Exercises for Relaxation. Exploring a variety of mindfulness exercises for relaxation can help us to truly feel what ...
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Mindfulness

Elevating Your Mood (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Elevating Mood. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Hooponopono

Before Sleep Ho’oponopono Affirmation Meditation

Find out how you can use Hooponopono, an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness, as a meditation healing prayer ...
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Jack Kornfield: Forgiveness Meditation

Jack Kornfield: Forgiveness Meditation

Practice forgiveness meditation by forgiving others and forgiving yourself. Let go of the past and opening your heart to each ...
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facing challenges by others

Facing Challenges By Others

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Facing Challenges, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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what is important to do today

What is Important to do Today

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on What is Important to Do Today, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose ...
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Letting Go of Your Story

Letting Go of Your Story

Phillip Moffitt leads a mediation to explore about our lives' story. 1st is to acknowledge the absolute necessity of the ...
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Choir Sings OM SO HUM Mantra

CHOIR sings OM SO HUM Mantra

This beautiful choir interpretation of the Om So Hum mantra will help you realize that we all come from one ...
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Tibetan Healing Sounds: Monk Singing Bowls

Tibetan Healing Sounds: Monk Singing Bowls

Tibetan Healing Sounds: Monk Chant Music Mantra with Tibetan Singing Bowls. Relaxing background sounds for meditation. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING ...
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Selves and Not Self The Buddhist Teaching on Anatta

Self & Not-Self: The Buddhist Teaching on YOU

Selves & Not-self: The Buddhist Teaching on Anatta deals with the mystifying teaching on "not-self" crucial to understanding the spiritual ...
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evaluating your self punishment

Evaluating Your Self-Punishment

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Self-Punishment, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Relieving Anxiety

Relieving Anxiety

Relieving Anxiety opens with a gentle breath awareness practice. Then, it moves into a series of positive affirmations to help ...
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Why Mindfulness is a Superpower Video

Why Mindfulness Is A Superpower [Video]

A short but succinct video discussing the real meaning and impact of mindfulness in one's life, and how even a ...
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Achaan-Brahmavamso

An Evening with Ajahn Brahm [Audio]

An Evening with Ajahn Brahm, Achaan Brahmavamso:About Achaan Brahmavamso:Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera, known as Ajahn Brahm (born Peter Betts on 7 August ...
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defining your meaning of success

Defining Your Meaning of Success

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Meaning of Success, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Pain in Meditation & Daily Life, 3/4

Ines Freedman leads Part 3 of guided meditation about Pain in Meditation & Daily Life. Ines Freedman had a condition ...
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A Dialog with Ram Dass and Eckhart Tolle

Ram Dass with Eckhart Tolle

Ram Dass and Eckhart Tolle get together for the 1st time on the same stage to talk about spiritual awakening ...
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Meditation for Anxiety & Depression

Meditation for Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety & depression impact millions of people. This guided meditation will help relieve both depression & anxiety by curbing your ...
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Lake Meditation

Lake Meditation

Mark Coleman leads a guided meditation- Lake Metta Meditation. Visualize a vast lake, turquoise, infused with qualities of Metta, of ...
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How to Inquire Productively

How To Inquire Productively

Inquiring productively based on the three aspects of "what", "why", and "so what" to make better sense of how others' ...
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Restoring Confidence When Negatively Impacted

Restoring Confidence When Negatively Impacted

Restoring Confidence When Negatively Impacted. Trauma & deep internal challenges can leave its mark on confidence. This can help restore ...
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Guided Big Sky Meditation with Jack Kornfield

Guided Big Sky Meditation with Jack Kornfield [Video]

Guided Big Sky Meditation with Jack Kornfield. This meditation is for the instructions working with the sense of sound and ...
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the impact of your emotions in relationships

The impact of your emotions in relationships

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Emotions In Relationships, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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Beyond All Directions

Beyond All Directions

Beyond All Directions - Essays on the Buddhist Path by Thanissaro Bhikkhu deals with the idea of "protection in all ...
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Dealing with Difficult Times in Life

Dealing with Difficult Times in Life

Five steps for dealing with difficult times in your life: set small, simple daily goals; be your best self despite ...
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Solar Plexus Activation

Solar Plexus Activation & Healing, Kundalini Sleep Music

The 6th Ray of "Devotion" governs this chakra. This chakra symbol connects us with the energy to "act" and is ...
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How To Increase Optimism

How To Feel Balanced

Sharon Salzberg talks about How to Feel Balanced. It's the truth that liberates, not the efforts to be free. The ...
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Practicing with Anger

Practicing with Anger

Practicing anger is a crucial theme in practice. There are many reasons for anger being quite confusing and yet being ...
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Transforming the Judgmental Mind [Audio]

Transforming the Judgmental Mind [Audio]

Donald Rothberg talks about the nature of the judgment on the mind, what it looks like, why it’s important to ...
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Nature of Awareness

Happiness of Renunciation

A monastic life with renunciation of many things may not be perceived as a happy life. But Ajahn teaches that ...
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Making an Effective Request

Making an Effective Request

Sometimes, it may prove difficult to request from people in your workplace. Learn how to make an effective request to ...
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What Should I Think?

What Should I Think?

Sylvia Boorstein tells a story about an Olympic situation and brainstorms about "what to think?" in response to the situation, ...
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Search Inside Yourself

Search Inside Yourself

Avail this free course, "Search Inside Yourself", by Chade Meng-Tan to develop yourself and attain mindfulness in your daily life ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 20

Working With Emotions In Your Body

This is a soften, soothe and allow meditation- Working with Emotions in your Body by Kristin Neff. Choose a difficult ...
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Nikki Mirghafori

Guided Instructions on The Four Elements [Audio]

Guided Instructions on The Four Elements by Nikki Mirghafori:(long pause)As we arrive this morning to sit, invite yourself to settle into ...
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Not To Be Angry All The Time

How Not To Be Angry All The Time

This 3:18 minute long video uncovers the surprising idea of optimism as the root of anger - and why this ...
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cultivating compassion

cultivating compassion

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Cultivating Compassion, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Mindfulness for the Changing Dynamics of Families

Family dynamics have changed significantly over recent decades. Traditional family structures have started to dissolve as what we often call the “modern family” takes its place. Unlike more traditional family structures that were quite commonplace a few decades ago, the modern family is much harder to define. With softening rules about how we should structure the home and those in it, the modern family becomes whatever we wish to define it as.

Traditionally speaking, a family is often defined as “a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.” However, the definition itself is outdated. Families don’t necessarily have children, and they don’t necessarily all live under the same roof. This freedom has eased much of the pressure that comes along with being a part of a family, but it poses unique challenges of its own. From the rise in alternative ways to be in partnership to the softening of clear roles amongst family constituents, we are still learning how to live harmoniously with one another in these more modern times.

In addition to these more commonplace ways of defining and understanding a modern family, it’s important to also consider how changes in our society and environment have affected the way families function. Some of the changes we have seen taking place over the past few decades include (but are not limited to):

  • Increased use of technology and personal devices, including amongst children
  • Increased reliance on technology
  • Movement of families into city centres
  • Changes in the ways we communicate
  • Continual access to the world outside of the family home through Internet and social media
  • Increased cost of higher education and a rise in student debt
  • Decreased privacy through Internet usage
  • A predominant shift from local to global

All of these factors influence the way we interact with family members. While modern families are in many ways more empowering for the individuals within them, it is also difficult to nourish meaningful relationships in a world that is highly connected in the virtual world and less connected fact-to-face. It might be safe to say that while the strength of our internet connection remains of top priority, human-to-human connection is set on the back burner.

All of that said, it is not impossible to achieve health and happiness amongst families, children included. As we work on increasing our awareness of the way we live and interact with the world and those around us, our sense of wellbeing and harmony within the family unit is enhanced. Becoming more mindful of our own inner landscape and of the experiences of those around us, we increase our ability to foster loving families.

How Mindfulness Benefits Children and Families

Deep connection is not often fostered enough in the modern world. Living on the surface of life through increasing engagement with social media and distractive technology, the more intimate aspects of ourselves go largely untouched. Mindfulness helps us to look inside and to increase our capacity for more authentic relating – first with ourselves and then with others.

As we increase our own capacity to be mindful of what is moving within us, our relationships begin to shift. Our own mindfulness practice sends out a ripple effect that leaves everyone within its path touched, even if only subtly. Relationships don’t change overnight, but they are undoubtedly impacted by our own willingness to look within.

This increased awareness for whatever exists in the present moment (the essence of mindfulness practice) helps to improve relationships of all varieties in a few different ways.

Mindfulness facilitates our ability to listen.

As we begin to pay greater attention to the present moment, we often find that compulsive thinking becomes more manageable. Though the mind doesn’t subside entirely, our ability to observe its habitual thought patterns and beliefs is enhanced. This is crucial for promoting healthy relationships as it intervenes with the tendency we often have of listening to respond as opposed to listening to understand. Relationships amongst family members can be challenging, but if we are able to listen non-judgmentally and compassionately, we move closer to finding a way to bridge whatever gaps divide us.

Mindfulness increases self-awareness.

Practicing mindfulness enhances our ability to be self-aware. This helps us to more clearly see when we are acting or speaking in ways that contribute to challenges rather than to solutions. As we get to know ourselves better, we are able to better manage unhealthy or destructive behaviours that are not contributing to the wellbeing of the family unit.

Mindfulness helps to regulate emotions.

Mindfulness draws us deep into our bodies and hearts, helping us to gain a clearer and broader understanding of our emotions. As humans, we are each susceptible to the wide range of human emotion, from joy and anticipation to fear and anger. Mindfulness helps us to notice when emotions are arising and facilitates our ability to more clearly see and understand what is beneath them. Are boundaries currently unclear or being crossed? Is there fear of rejection at present? What triggers our emotions is as unique as we are. As we get to know ourselves better, we learn to manage rising emotions in ways that effectively and healthily process and release them. Healthy expression of our emotions promotes healing and wellbeing in both ourselves and in the unit as a whole.

Mindfulness enhances empathy.

Compassion and non-judgment exist at the core of mindfulness practice. Through the implementation of a variety of heart-centered exercises, we foster our capacity for self-empathy. As we begin to feel this growing sense of warmth and acceptance for ourselves unconditionally, we naturally begin to extend that love outwards. We start to see ourselves in others, finding greater patience, acceptance, and understanding of the experiences of others.

Children benefit from mindfulness practice as well. Since most of our long-standing habits and behaviours are informed by our earliest years, mindfulness practice can help to promote self-awareness in children. When kids are exposed to mindfulness practice, they benefit in countless ways. Mindfulness practice promotes wellbeing in children by:

  • Increasing resilience when under stress
  • Promoting patience
  • Reducing social anxiety
  • Boosting mental health
  • Improving focus and cognitive control
  • Improving emotional regulation
  • Enhancing self-control and managing impulses

Children soak things up readily, even absorbing the subtlest of energies. As parents and caregivers, it is important to lead by example and to explore mindfulness as a personal practice. Mindfulness training can also be of great benefit when we wish to work with children, offering us the tools and skills to powerfully and effectively bring mindfulness into their lives.

Mindfulness Exercises for Kids and Parents

There are countless ways to help children understand what it means to be mindful. The best practice in any moment will depend on the child’s unique make-up, their age, and the present state of reality. The following are some introductory practices that can be introduced to children of all ages.

1. Breath awareness

Drawing awareness to the breath is a prime place to begin as it is a foundation of most mindfulness practices. Whether in moments when the child is already feeling calm or when he or she is overwhelmed by emotions, guide the child to pay attention to their breath for ten full cycles. You might help them to focus by encouraging them to silently repeat the words “inhaling” and “exhaling” each time their breath switches directions.

2. Mindful eating

To help promote healthy eating patterns amongst children, it can be beneficial to guide them through a simple mindful eating exercise. Start with one small piece of food and then repeat the exercise with a different food item. Guide them to first observe the piece of food with their senses of sight, sound, touch, and smell, one sense at a time. Then, guide them to place the object in their mouths and to chew it very slowly. Have them close their eyes as they pay attention to the taste and texture of the food and then to the feel of it as they swallow. Ask them if they can share a bit about their experience of eating this way.

3. Nature observation

Help them to take a break from screens and other modes of distraction by getting outside. Take a walk outdoors somewhere, whether through a forest, a park, or around a city block lined with trees. As you move through this natural environment, inquire with your child about the different things they notice. Help them to safely explore the world through their five senses. What do they see? What can they smell? How do things feel in their hands? What sounds do they notice? Ask them to point out where they observe life happening, helping them to expand their awareness of where energy and movement are present.

Mindfulness Practices for Families

Families who practice mindfulness together do well together. While many mindfulness practices are personal explorations, they can also be exercises that help to improve communication and closeness amongst family members. The following are a few exercises to practice together.

1. Offline time

Getting offline is a simple and powerful practice that will help both parents and children to be more content with and tuned into the present moment. Try to set aside some time daily to be without devices of any sort. When practiced just before bedtime, this exercise can help to promote a deep and restorative sleep.

Sometimes, you might sit in the same room, each family member choosing to read, write, draw, meditate, or reflect. Other times, family members might opt for solitude. Allow this practice to be natural by honouring the needs of each family member in each moment. The only rule: no connection to the world outside of the physical reality you are presently in.

2. Gratitude practice

Increase awareness of the abundance and blessings in life by going around the table at dinner and having each family member share what they are grateful for. Each person can share something they are thankful for in the present moment or something they enjoyed earlier in the day. As we increase our awareness of the blessings that exist around us, our happiness increases and we start to find that life gets brighter and more abundant.

3. Mindful communication

The most challenging times to be mindful is when conflict arises. In a family unit, disagreements are inevitable but how we manage them is within our hands (and within our hearts). When conflict comes up, invite everyone involved to take thirty to sixty seconds to close their eyes and tune into their hearts. Guiding the mind into the body and into the heart space can help us to then communicate more clearly and compassionately. In addition to this practice, mindful listening helps all parties to feel heard and understood. See if you can allow five minutes for each family member involved to speak about their experience of the situation at hand without anyone else following up with a counterargument. Allow each party involved to speak their feelings without being made wrong.

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