The mind, hard to control,
Flighty—alighting where it wishes—
One does well to tame.
The disciplined mind brings happiness.
We’ve all been there…you tell your child she cannot have that candy bar at the store checkout and BOOM…the world as you knew it abruptly ends. Your normally sweet, smiling child screws her face up into a mask of horror and falls – weeping, kicking and screaming – to the filthy supermarket floor. It feels like the entire store turns to stare at you (disapprovingly) and you are thrust onto the parenting stage to make a very public decision.
Once a tantrum or meltdown begins, it’s almost impossible to stop. Those big, scary feelings are strong and tend to run away with your child. In this article, we’ll talk about what you can do to drive positive behavior and keep tantrums at bay, or at least, to a minimum.
Mindfulness for Kids – Teach Them To Identify Their Emotions
Mindfulness is a practice in which your child learns to be in the present moment; noticing feelings, sensations and more as they unfold minute by minute. One of the ways in which mindfulness can help mitigate and even prevent tantrums is by helping your child notice their mood before it gets out of control and take some steps to calm down.
There are many ways to teach children mindfulness including modeling it yourself. But apps like Ninja Focus make it even easier. On the Ninja Focus app, kids are prompted to identify how they’re feeling on the first screen. If they indicate they feel angry or stressed, the app takes them directly to meditations and breathing exercises which will help them calm down and feel better. It’s a wonderful way to teach your child to pay attention to what he or she is actually feeling; a skill that many adults haven’t yet mastered. By identifying a stressful, angry or anxious mood, kids then have the chance to soothe themselves before things escalate into a full blown tantrum scenario. Making this a daily practice with Ninja Focus can help ward off scary meltdowns.
Deep Breathing for Kids – Teach Them To Self-Regulate and Calm Down
There is no end to the benefits of deep, centered breathing and it’s something easy for kids to do and can be done anywhere. The key here is to teach them to do this before they’re triggered by making it a daily practice. All it takes is 2 minutes and you can do it in the car or anywhere you have your kid’s undivided attention. You could put on calming music and then breathe with your child – slowly. Aim for a count of four on the inhale AND the exhale. Even if you only manage 60 seconds of this kind of breathing, the body and mind will relax and feel more calm and centered – for both of you!
Meditation for Kids – Yes They Can Do It!
Teaching your child to meditate is one of the best ways to teach him or her how to feel peace and calm their minds. Unlike deep breathing, meditation for kids can take a little more time to master, but it CAN be done. Apps like Ninja Focus make it even easier with a variety of fun, short, child-centric meditations your child will love to do. Kids can receive points and trophies for completing meditations and learning skills to foster positive behavior! The Ninja Focus app is free to download and will help you create an atmosphere of calm in which a tantrum is far less likely to happen.