Mindful Parenting: Practicing Mindfulness with Kids

Navigating the parenting journey can sometimes feel like a tumultuous sea of emotions, struggles, and rewards. I know from experience—it’s a constant challenge to remain calm and present amidst all the chaos.

Research shows that incorporating mindfulness in our parenting style helps reduce stressimprove emotional well-being, and strengthen relationships with our children. Ready for calmer seas? Dive into this guide on mindful parenting techniques designed especially for you!

Key Takeaways

  • Mindful parenting is a holistic approach that involves staying present and attuned to your child, fostering better communication and relationships.
  • The benefits of mindful parenting include reducing stress for both parents and children, improving the parent-child relationship, and enhancing emotional regulation for better problem-solving.
  • Techniques for practicing mindfulness with kids include breathing exercisesmindful listening, mindful eating, and incorporating mindfulness into daily routines. These techniques help develop self-regulation skills, manage emotions, and enhance overall well-being.

What is Mindful Parenting

Mindful parenting is a transformative, holistic approach to raising children. It involves staying completely attuned and present during interactions with your child, devoid of distractions or prejudgments.

As I engage in mindful parenting, I not only acknowledge but also manage my feelings and behaviors first. This allows me to respond wisely rather than react hastily to situations that foster better parent-child communication.

It centers on nurturing relationships infused with open-heartedness, respect, and compassion for an enhanced familial bond. Mindful parenting sets the tone for developing awareness about our actions – not just towards our children but also in our daily lives.

It encourages us as parents to be self-aware and compassionate while interacting mindfully with our children – providing them with the gift of undivided attention. So it’s more like embracing every moment we spend with kids while tuning into their needs attentively and lovingly.

And it’s crucial to realize that mindful parenting isn’t aiming at perfection; instead, it helps me cultivate patience whilst appreciating each fleeting parental moment — good or bad, easy or challenging.

By enhancing empathy levels between parents and kids, mindfulness can help mitigate stressors effectively which ultimately leads to improved mental health outcomes for both parties involved.

Benefits of Mindful Parenting

Mindful parenting offers numerous benefits, including reducing stress for both parents and children, improving the parent-child relationship by fostering a deeper connection and understanding, and enhancing emotional regulation for better communication and problem-solving.

Reduces stress

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that supports mental and emotional well-being. It’s especially effective at reducing stress, an all-too-common issue among parents with the fast-paced rhythm of modern life.

As a mindful parent, you have at your fingertips the ability to alleviate tension and anxiety through simple mindfulness practices such as deep breathing, staying present in the moment, or focusing on sensations.

Research tells us that practicing mindfulness can lower cortisol levels – our primary stress hormone. Embracing this practice not only helps me manage my own strain but sets a healthier environment for my children too.

By teaching them similar techniques like meditation for kids or guided imagery exercises, I can arm them with skills to manage their own stress while further fortifying our relationship.

After all, we’re navigating these challenges together.

Improves parent-child relationship

Practicing mindfulness as a parent remarkably enhances the bond between you and your child. It’s more than just spending time together; it’s about being wholly present for each interaction- sharing joys, understanding fears, and navigating through tough times.

This mindful awareness cultivates empathy, fostering a deeper connection that goes beyond fulfilling basic needs or discipline. You build trustworthiness in your child’s eyes when they see you respect their thoughts and feelings without judgment.

And this isn’t one-sided either; children learn to mirror these qualities back at you, paving the way for heartfelt conversations and shared experiences. The beauty of mindful parenting lies in transforming everyday parenthood chores into meaningful moments of intense connection with your kids – a powerful foundation for lasting relationships.

Enhances emotional regulation

When practicing mindful parenting, one of the key benefits is enhancing emotional regulation in both parents and children. By being present and non-judgmental with our children, we create a space for them to express their emotions in a healthy way.

Mindfulness helps us recognize and acknowledge our own emotions, which allows us to respond instead of react to challenging situations. This sets an example for our children on how to manage their own feelings.

Studies have shown that mindfulness training can lead to decreased symptoms of hyperactivity in children and improved self-regulation skills. When we practice mindfulness with our kids, we teach them how to pause, breathe, and find calm when faced with intense emotions.

By modeling emotional regulation ourselves, we help create a safe environment where open communication about feelings becomes the norm. Through mindfulness practices such as meditation or breath awareness exercises, we cultivate a greater understanding and acceptance of ourselves and our children’s emotional experiences.

This ultimately strengthens the bond between parent and child while nurturing their emotional well-being.

Techniques for Practicing Mindfulness with Kids

Teach your children the power of mindfulness with these simple techniques. From breathing exercises to mindful play, discover effective ways to bring awareness and presence into their daily lives.

Read more for practical tips on practicing mindfulness with kids.

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are a key component of practicing mindfulness with kids in mindful parenting. These exercises not only help children develop self-regulation skills and manage emotions but also reduce stress. By incorporating mindfulness breathing techniques into daily routines, parents can provide their children with valuable stress management strategies.

  1. Guided meditations: Guided meditations are an excellent way to introduce mindfulness to children. They can listen to a recorded meditation or follow along with a parent or caregiver who guides them through deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
  2. Simple breathing exercises: Teach your child simple breathing exercises that they can use anytime, anywhere. One example is belly breathing, where they place one hand on their belly and take slow, deep breaths, focusing on the rise and fall of their belly as they breathe in and out.
  3. Mindful counting: Encourage your child to count their breaths as they inhale and exhale. This helps them stay focused on their breath and brings their attention to the present moment.
  4. Animal breaths: Make breathing fun by incorporating animal-themed breaths. For example, have your child take long, slow breaths like a turtle or fast, short breaths like a bunny.
  5. Bubble blowing: Have your child blow bubbles while focusing on their breath. This activity not only promotes deep breathing but also provides a visual representation of how our breath moves in and out.

Mindful listening

Mindful listening is an essential technique in practicing mindful parenting. It allows us to fully engage with our children, creating a more peaceful and harmonious family environment. Here are some ways to incorporate mindful listening into your daily routine:

  1. Take deep breaths: Start by taking a few deep breaths together before engaging in conversation. This helps both you and your child to calm the mind and be present in the moment.
  2. Focus on the feeling: Encourage your child to express how they feel, whether it’s happy, sad, or excited. Instead of jumping in with advice or opinions, simply listen and acknowledge their emotions without judgment.
  3. Help them describe their experience: Prompt your child to describe what they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch in their surroundings. By doing this, you are helping them stay focused on the present moment and enhancing their sensory awareness.
  4. Practice active listening: Give your full attention when your child is speaking. Maintain eye contact and show interest in what they have to say. Avoid interrupting or finishing their sentences; instead, let them express themselves fully.
  5. Reflect back: After your child has spoken, reflect back on what they said to ensure that you understood correctly. This not only shows that you were actively listening but also gives them a chance to clarify or expand on their thoughts.
  6. Empathize and validate: Acknowledge your child’s feelings by expressing empathy and understanding. Let them know that it’s okay to feel the way they do and that you are there for support.
  7. Be patient and nonjudgmental: Avoid rushing through conversations or imposing your own agenda onto your child’s thoughts or experiences. Instead, create a safe space for open dialogue without judgment or criticism.

Mindful eating

Mindful eating is a mindfulness practice that has numerous benefits for both children and adults. By staying present and focused when enjoying food, mindful eating helps to create a deeper connection with what we eat and can encourage healthier habits. Here are some key points to keep in mind about mindful eating:

  • Mindful eating improves eating behaviors and can contribute to weight maintenance or lower body fat in kids, according to a review of 68 intervention and observational studies.
  • Practicing mindful eating helps children understand their hunger cues better and promotes overall health.
  • Mothers who practice mindful eating also positively influence their children’s feeding and eating practices.
  • Mindful eating activities can be integrated into lesson plans to teach children the importance of being fully present while enjoying their meals.
  • Using chocolate as a tool for practicing mindfulness is an engaging way to introduce mindful eating to children.
  • Mindful eating strategies focus on both internal and external causes of our food choices, including environmental factors that influence our eating habits.
  • Mindful eating has been shown to have several benefits for overall health and well-being.

Mindful play

Playing mindfully with your children is a wonderful way to bond and create joyful moments together. It’s an opportunity to be fully present, engage in the present moment, and cultivate mindfulness skills in a fun and interactive manner. Here are some mindful play activities you can enjoy with your kids:

  1. Sensory Exploration: Encourage your child to explore their senses by engaging in sensory activities such as playing with squishy toys, finger painting with different textures, or having a sensory scavenger hunt where they identify different textures, smells, and sounds.
  2. Mindful Movement: Engage in activities that promote body awareness and movement. Practice yoga poses together or have a dance party where you encourage your child to move their body freely, paying attention to how it feels and the sensations they experience.
  3. Nature Walks: Take your children on nature walks where they can observe and connect with the natural world around them. Encourage them to notice the colors of leaves, listen to the sounds of birds chirping, feel the texture of tree bark, and take deep breaths while enjoying the fresh air.
  4. Creative Expression: Engage in art activities that allow your child to express themselves creatively. Provide various art supplies for them to use such as crayons, paints, or clay. Encourage them to focus on their artwork, noticing how each stroke feels and paying attention to the colors they choose.
  5. Mindful Storytelling: Read books together (these books are great for both adults and kids) and encourage your child to engage in mindful storytelling. After reading a story, ask them questions about how the characters might be feeling or what lessons they learned from the story. This helps develop empathy and emotional intelligence.
  6. Mindful Games: Play games that require focus and attention such as puzzles or memory games. Encourage your child to pay attention to each piece or card while playing and remind them it’s okay if they make mistakes – it’s all part of the learning process.
  7. Gratitude Journals: Have a gratitude journal where you and your child write down things you are grateful for each day. Take turns sharing your entries and discuss why you appreciate those things. This cultivates positivity and gratitude in both of you.

Gratitude practice

Practicing gratitude with kids is an essential aspect of mindful parenting. It helps cultivate a positive mindset, fosters an appreciation for the present moment, and promotes well-being. Here are some simple and effective gratitude practices to incorporate into your daily routine:

  1. Journaling: Encourage your child to write down three things they are grateful for each day. It could be something as small as a sunny day or a delicious meal. This practice helps them focus on the positive aspects of their lives.
  2. Gratitude Jar: Create a jar where your child can drop in notes of what they are grateful for. At the end of each week or month, sit together and read aloud these moments of gratitude.
  3. Thank You Notes: Teach your child the importance of expressing gratitude by encouraging them to write thank you notes to friends, teachers, or family members who have done something kind for them.
  4. Reflection Time: Set aside a few minutes each day to reflect on what you and your child are grateful for. This can be done during mealtime or before bedtime, allowing you both to share and appreciate the blessings in your lives.
  5. Family Gratitude Circle: Gather as a family and take turns sharing one thing that you are grateful for. This practice not only cultivates gratitude but also strengthens family bonds.
  6. Acts of Kindness: Encourage your child to perform acts of kindness towards others without expecting anything in return. This can range from helping around the house to volunteering in the community.
  7. Grateful Walks: Take mindful walks with your child and guide their attention towards noticing things they are grateful for in nature, such as beautiful flowers, chirping birds, or gentle breezes.
  8. Bedtime Gratitude Ritual: Before going to bed, ask your child to reflect on one positive thing that happened during the day and why it made them feel grateful.


Meditation is a powerful mindfulness technique that can benefit both parents and children. It allows us to find peace and stillness in our busy lives, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. With regular meditation practice, we can enhance our ability to be present in the moment and cultivate a deeper awareness of our thoughts, emotions, and sensations.

  1. Guided meditation: Use guided meditation recordings or apps specifically designed for children. These provide prompts and visualizations that help kids focus their attention and relax their bodies.
  2. Breathing exercises: Teach your child simple breathing techniques, such as taking deep belly breaths or counting their breaths. Encourage them to notice how their body feels as they breathe in and out.
  3. Body scan: Guide your child through a body scan meditation where they pay attention to different parts of their body, starting from the top of their head down to their toes. This helps them become more aware of physical sensations and releases tension.
  4. Loving-kindness meditation: Practice sending loving thoughts to oneself, loved ones, friends, and even strangers. Encourage your child to think kind thoughts towards others and themselves during the meditation.
  5. Mindful walking: Take your child on a mindful walk where they bring attention to each step they take – feeling the ground beneath their feet, noticing the sounds around them, and being fully present in the experience.

Setting the Environment for Mindful Parenting

To set the environment for mindful parenting, establish a daily mindfulness routine, create a calm and peaceful space, and minimize distractions.

Establishing a daily mindfulness routine

Establishing a daily mindfulness routine is essential for practicing mindful parenting. By incorporating regular mindfulness practices into your daily life, you can create a calm and peaceful atmosphere for both yourself and your children. Here are some techniques to help you establish a daily mindfulness routine:

  1. Begin the day with intention: Start your day by taking a few moments to set your intention for mindful parenting. Take a deep breath, center yourself, and remind yourself of the qualities you want to bring into your interactions with your children – patience, presence, and compassion.
  2. Morning meditation: Dedicate a few minutes each morning to a simple meditation practice. Find a quiet space where you can sit comfortably and focus on your breath. Notice the sensations of each inhalation and exhalation, allowing thoughts to come and go without judgment.
  3. Mindful meals: Turn mealtime into an opportunity for practicing mindfulness with your family. Encourage everyone to eat slowly, savoring each bite and paying attention to the flavors, textures, and smells of the food. Engage in meaningful conversations around the table.
  4. Mindful breaks: Throughout the day, take short breaks to pause and reconnect with the present moment. Close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath, and notice any tension or stress in your body. Allow yourself to let go of any worries or distractions.
  5. Mindful activities: Incorporate mindfulness into everyday activities with your children. Whether it’s playing together, doing chores around the house, or going for a walk, encourage them to be fully present in each moment. Engage their senses by noticing sounds, sights, textures, and smells.
  6. Evening reflection: Before bedtime, take a few moments with your children to reflect on the day together. Ask them about their experiences and how they felt during different activities or interactions. This helps cultivate gratitude and awareness of their emotions.
  7. Guided relaxation: End the day with a guided relaxation practice. Lie down with your children and guide them through a body scan or progressive muscle relaxation, helping them relax their bodies and minds before sleep.

Creating a calm and peaceful space

One of the key aspects of practicing mindful parenting is creating a calm and peaceful space for both yourself and your children. By establishing an environment that promotes tranquility, you can cultivate a sense of peace and emotional well-being within your family.

This can be achieved by setting aside dedicated spaces in your home for relaxation, such as a meditation corner or a cozy reading nook. Minimizing distractions, such as turning off electronic devices or limiting screen time, can also help create a more serene atmosphere.

By providing this tranquil space, you are enabling yourself and your children to connect with each other on a deeper level and foster a sense of harmony within the family dynamic.

Minimizing distractions

To practice mindful parenting, it is important to create an environment that minimizes distractions. Here are some techniques you can use:

  1. Create a dedicated space: Designate a specific area in your home where you and your child can engage in mindfulness activities. This space should be free from clutter and distractions, allowing you both to focus on the present moment.
  2. Turn off electronic devices: Switch off TVs, smartphones, and other electronic devices that can interrupt your moments of mindfulness. By eliminating these distractions, you can fully devote your attention to your child and the practice of mindfulness.
  3. Establish boundaries: Set clear boundaries with family members or other caregivers to ensure uninterrupted mindfulness sessions with your child. Let them know that during these times, you need quiet and privacy to fully engage in the practice.
  4. Practice mindful communication: Encourage open and honest communication within your family, fostering an environment where everyone feels heard and understood. By listening mindfully to each other without distractions, you can deepen your connection and build stronger relationships.
  5. Simplify schedules: Minimize the number of extracurricular activities or commitments that may create unnecessary stress or hinder quality time for mindfulness practices. Streamline schedules to allow for more opportunities for relaxation and being present with your child.

Overcoming Challenges in Practicing Mindful Parenting

To overcome challenges in practicing mindful parenting, it’s important to find time for mindfulness, deal with resistance from children, and cultivate patience and self-compassion.

Finding Time for Mindfulness

As parents, finding time for mindfulness can be challenging amidst our busy schedules and responsibilities. However, dedicating even a few minutes each day to practicing mindfulness can have a profound impact on our well-being as well as our relationship with our children.

Research shows that mindfulness reduces stress levels and improves emotional regulation in both adults and children. By incorporating simple techniques like deep breathing or guided meditation into our daily routines, we can create moments of calm and presence that benefit not only ourselves but also help us connect with our children on a deeper level.

Devoting just 10 minutes a day to mindfulness practice reinforces the habit and ensures that we prioritize self-care amidst the chaos of parenthood. So let’s make it a priority to find those brief yet precious moments where we can pause, breathe, and experience the present moment together with our kids.

Dealing with resistance from children

Dealing with resistance from children can be one of the challenges in practicing mindful parenting. While mindfulness techniques can help create a calm and peaceful environment, children may not always be open to participating.

However, it is important for parents to approach this resistance with patience and understanding.

One way to overcome resistance is by introducing mindfulness activities in a fun and engaging manner. For example, turning breathing exercises into a game or incorporating mindfulness into playtime can help spark your child’s interest.

Additionally, providing age-appropriate explanations about the benefits of mindfulness and how it can help them regulate their emotions may encourage their participation.

It’s also essential for parents to lead by example and practice mindfulness themselves. Children often mimic their parents’ behaviors, so demonstrating your own engagement in mindful practices will show them its importance.

Lastly, keeping sessions short and gradually increasing the duration over time can make it more manageable for children.

Cultivating patience and self-compassion

Cultivating patience and self-compassion is a crucial aspect of practicing mindful parenting with kids. As parents, it can be challenging to remain patient and understanding when dealing with the daily demands of parenting.

However, by incorporating mindfulness techniques into our lives, we can develop the ability to respond calmly in difficult situations. Research has shown that practicing mindfulness, such as through yoga or meditation, can help cultivate patience in parenting.

Additionally, self-compassion plays a vital role in mindful parenting. It involves acknowledging and accepting our own imperfections as parents without judgment or criticism. By showing ourselves kindness and compassion, we create a nurturing environment for both us and our children to grow and learn together.

Final Thoughts

I truly believe that practicing mindful parenting techniques can be a transformative experience for both parents and children. By being present at the moment, using mindfulness exercises like breathing exercises and mindful play, and creating a calm environment, parents can cultivate stronger relationships with their kids while reducing stress and improving emotional regulation.

Remember that mindful parenting is not about perfection but about making intentional choices to connect deeply with our children. Start your journey towards mindful parenting today and witness the positive impact it has on your family’s well-being.


1. What is mindful parenting and why is it important?

Mindful parenting is the practice of bringing conscious awareness to the present moment when interacting with your children. It involves being fully present, non-judgmental, and compassionate toward your child’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Mindful parenting can help improve communication, reduce stress for both parent and child and strengthen the parent-child bond.

2. How can I incorporate mindfulness into my daily interactions with my kids?

You can incorporate mindfulness into your daily interactions with your kids by practicing deep breathing exercises together, actively listening to them without distractions, engaging in activities that promote self-awareness such as yoga or meditation for kids, and taking moments throughout the day to pause and check in with yourself before responding to your child.

3. Are there specific techniques or strategies I can use to teach my kids mindfulness?

Yes! Some techniques include introducing simple breathing exercises where they focus on their breaths or encouraging them to express their feelings through journaling or drawing. You can also play games that encourage sensory awareness or create a gratitude practice where you reflect on things you’re grateful for at the end of each day.

4. How does practicing mindfulness benefit both me as a parent and my children?

Practicing mindfulness benefits parents by reducing stress levels, improving emotional regulation skills, promoting self-care practices, and enhancing patience and empathy toward their children’s experiences. For children, it helps develop emotional resilience, self-regulation abilities which leads to increased focus & attention span while fostering healthier relationships based upon trust & respect between themselves + others