Between the ages of one and three your toddler is rapidly developing into a whole little person. She’s likely learning to move around the world and to communicate her desires. He’s probably coming up against the edges of his universe daily, testing boundaries. As they refine these skills, it is the perfect time to introduce mindfulness or meditation for kids into their daily activities. By teaching toddlers the tool of awareness you plant the seed of consciousness into their mind.
During the toddler years before children go off to school, they spend the majority of their time are around primary caregivers, who are uniquely positioned to raise mindful children. And as psychotherapist and writer Ali Goldfield notes, “Children who practice mindfulness techniques develop social and emotional intelligence, resulting in greater self-awareness, less stress, and higher levels of happiness and empathy.” So as toddlers begin to understand their place in the universe, it really is the perfect time to introduce meditation for kids and the skills related to mindfulness and self-improvement and to bring these concepts into focus with your child throughout the day to day. With that in mind, we invite you to tap into your own reservoir of mindful parenting and consider 20 ways you can give your toddler the gift of awareness throughout each day.
1. The Power of Breath
Breathing is something we all—adults and children—take for granted, and yet it is our very life force. Teach them the importance of the breath—right from the start. Even as early as a year old, a child can begin to fill a quiet space in their day with a series of deep breaths. Cue their inhales and exhales with simple “in” and “outs”, gently explaining to them that taking a deep breath will always make them feel better.
Read Related: 15 Reasons Meditation is as Important as the Gym
2. Model the Behavior
You know this already—the best way to get them to do it (or anything really) is by doing it yourself. Get your child’s attention and take an exaggeratedly noisy, long and deep breath, and there is a good chance your little monkey will see and do. You’ll both become more aware, relaxed, and harmonized.