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Mindfulness Exercises For Kids & Families

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

Hot Air Balloon Ride A Guided meditation for Kids Childrens Visualization For Sleep & Dreaming

Hot Air Balloon Ride: A Guided meditation for Kids, Children’s Visualization For Sleep & Dreaming

Hot Air Balloon Ride is an all-ages guided meditation video that promotes peaceful and restful sleep in children through relaxing ...
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Path Of Upward Mobility [Audio]

Path Of Upward Mobility [Audio]

Path Of Upward Mobility. Anushka Fernandopulle talks how life is mostly about drawn to the ground which is falling or ...
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EXHALE A Visual Meditation

EXHALE – A Visual Meditation

Taste the fresh air by watching. This short visual meditation with soothing music by Loy Wesselburg might be just what ...
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Establishing and Maintaining Commitments [Video]

Establishing and Maintaining Commitments [Video]

Listen and learn how to discuss issues with teammates at your workplace and re-establish effectiveness, trust, and integrity with them ...
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Indian Yoga New Age Meditation Soft Music

Indian Yoga: New Age, Meditation, Soft Music

Relax and enjoy in your daily meditation with this Indian yoga music. Listen to it as background music or meditation ...
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Just Like Me

Just Like Me

Just like me guided meditation by Sean Fargo focuses on the appreciation of your likeness with others. To feel the ...
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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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Who Is Pulling The Strings?

Who Is Pulling The Strings?

Read "Who Is Pulling The Strings?" as it elaborates the fourth of the Brahma-vihāras - upekkhā or equanimity to explain ...
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Secret of contentment

It’s OK

Gil Fronsdal talks about It's OK. In saying OK, you can release the self from a lot of traps. To ...
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appreciating how you contribute

Appreciating How You Contribute

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Appreciating How You Contribute, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how ...
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The Power of Lovingkindness [Audio]

The Power of Lovingkindness [Audio]

In this audio, Guy Armstrong talks about the power of lovingkindness. He has been practicing Insight Meditation for over 30 ...
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How To Get More Sleep

How To Get More Sleep

50 years of sleep science has proven that less than 7-8 hours of sleep wrecks your mood, health, brain, and ...
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Pico Iyer, Gopi Kallayil Art of Stillness in Digital Age

Pico Iyer, Gopi Kallayil: Art of Stillness in Digital Age

One of the beauties of travel is that it allows you to bring stillness into the motion and the commotion ...
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5 Minutes to Regain Calm Clarity and Confidence

5 Minutes To Regain Calm, Clarity And Confidence

5 Minutes To Regain Calm, Clarity & Confidence. This short meditation for anxiety is a simple and soothing way to ...
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How To Get Over Rejection

How To Get Over Rejection

One way to get over rejection is: don’t keep thinking of the end of the relationship as tragically sad. Also, ...
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Nature of Awareness

Metta For the Difficult

James Baraz leads us to understand the Metta for the difficult. When our realities don't match with other's, this causes ...
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important thing enjoy your life

The Most Important Thing

Mark Coleman talks about The Most Important Thing on the Buddhist Path. Compassion and Loving-kindness enable us to be present ...
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reducing holiday stress

Reducing Holiday Stress

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Holiday Stress, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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The Meaning Connection Between Mindfulness and Happiness

Connection Between Mindfulness and Happiness

Find out how a humanistic-oriented theoretical foundation for meaning in life mediates between mindfulness meditation and happiness.With the strength of ...
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Self Compassion vs Self-Esteem

Self Compassion vs. Self-Esteem

Self compassion is a way of relating to ourselves and gives us a sense of self worth, whereas self-esteem is ...
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Visual and Tactile Meditation Techniques for Stress

Visual and Tactile Meditation Techniques for Stress

Stress is a part of our everyday lives; it’s impossible to imagine a life without it. Even while we’re doing ...
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how to create more time

How to Create More Quiet Time

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Creating Time, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Yourself

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Taking Care of Yourself, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how ...
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surrender

The Art of Surrender

Frank Ostaseski talks about the experience of surrender in The Art of Surrender. Listen to what he says about dying ...
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Increasing Productivity by Mastering Singular Focus & Mindful Meditation

Increase Productivity by Mastering Singular Focus & Mindful Meditation

This guided meditation helps focus on the present moment in order to improve one's productivity rate, offering helpful strategies to ...
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Empathy

Empathy: Its Nature, What Makes It Hard, and How to Develop It

Donald Rothberg talks about empathy: its nature, what makes it hard and how to develop it. Empathy is the ability ...
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Hypnosis Utopia Sleep Meditation [Video]

Hypnosis Utopia Sleep Meditation [Video]

Are you suffering from insomnia, or having difficulty with falling asleep? This sleep meditation video will help you fall asleep ...
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Lesson from Nature, depression and anxiety binaural beat

Depression & Anxiety (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Depression & Anxiety. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
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How Do You Know When Higher Consciousness Guides You

How Do You Know When Higher Consciousness Guides You? [Video]

Higher consciousness is guiding you in a life situation when your awakened intelligence is in effect because it comes with ...
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Lesson from Nature

Guided Meditation [Audio] by Christina Feldman

Guided Meditation, by Christina Feldman:In the beginning of this sitting, just checking in with your body, it’s finding the posture ...
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sourcing where your self judgment comes from

Sourcing Where Your Self-Judgment Comes From

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Self-Judgment, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, ...
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Nature of Awareness

The Power of Lovingkindness

The practice of Metta makes the heart more responsive. You'll be surprised you don't even need to learn Metta in ...
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The Multiplication of Courage

Working With Fear

The topic of working with fear shows the liberating power of the Dharma. Guy Armstrong says fear has haunted human ...
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Truth of Rebirth And Why It Matters in Buddhist Practice

The Truth of Rebirth: And Why It Matters for Buddhist Practice

The Truth of Rebirth: And Why It Matters for Buddhist Practice ebook teaches Rebirth, Awakening, and release from Suffering in ...
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stress eating

Stress Eating

Psychological stress caused by feelings of anxiety affects our lives in many ways that we don't see. It affects sleep ...
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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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Mindful Media

Mindful Media

Mindful Media. Media is a major stressor. This script (that reads like an exercise) helps its readers and listeners to ...
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Developing An Inner Guide

Developing an Inner Guide

An inner guide can improve our self-esteem and self-image. This mindfulness exercise will guide you on how to develop an ...
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Art of Mindfulness Main

Mindfulness Of Mind [Audio]

Guided Mindfulness Of Mind by Steve Armstrong:Taking the first few moments of the sitting to settling to your sitting posture at ...
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Still Flowing Water by Ajahn Chah

Venerable Ajahn Chah: Still Flowing Water

This free ebook is a thought-provoking talk by Ajahn Chah to nourish one's heart and mind. This leads us to ...
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Settle the heart

Settle the Heart First

Gil Fronsdal talks about Settle the Heart First. Rest in the calm of peace first and settle the heart before ...
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Indian Meditation Music Yoga Music

Indian Meditation: Yoga, Flute, Relaxing Background Music

Devoted to create a new collection of LONG MEDITATION MUSIC videos for you to relax and enjoy in your daily ...
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To care & not to care

To Care & Not to Care

Gil Fronsdal talks about To Care & Not To Care. In Buddhist practice, both are important. Don't measure yourself by ...
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Mindfulness Exercise on Lessons From Nature

Mindfulness of Depression 3/5

Rona Kabatznick leads Part 3 of the guided forgiveness meditation on Mindfulness Depression. Forgiveness of self is to open one's ...
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Rewards & Risks To An Effective Culture [Video]

Rewards & Risks To An Effective Culture [Video]

Response-ability is the source of power and integrity, the power to influence your situation and the integrity to do so ...
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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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