Nurturing Mindfulness: Parents’ Guide to Teaching Kids the Joy of Living in the Moment

Work Hard & Treat People Right!

“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.”

Marianne Williamson

As a youth motivational speaker, most of the time people come to me for ‘inspiration’. So it was a nice change of pace sitting down with NFL veteran Jon Dorenbos who truly inspired with his story and words. One sound bite that really stood out to me was when he told me this:

“The key to success is simple. You have to work hard and treat people right. If you do that, people will want to see you win.”

Jon Dorenbos

For some reason, this really connected with me in a strong way. I’m sure I’ve heard this before, from a different messenger, but coming from Jon it really struck a different chord and I haven’t been able to shake it since!

Jon is a stud. I didn’t know very much about him going into the podcast other than some of the highlights: he’s a NFL veteran, a top magician who almost won the show America’s Got Talent and he’s hosted the ELLEN show on numerous occasions!

I was shocked when I heard Jon’s story in person. He opened up about losing his mom at a young age and how he chose to forgive his father and got better not bitter. Such a powerful message and example I came away motivated to not just to work harder, but also wanting to be a better person.

This podcast will make you ask yourself:

What is my excuse? What and who are I blaming for me problems?

How Jon bounced back from his traumatic experience really puts life into perspective and what I really enjoyed about Jon is his ability to find humor in the obstacles that life throws your way. It’s amazing how big of a difference being able to laugh at the bumps in the road makes. Or, dare I say it another way…? Attitude is everything!

I think you guys will really dig Jon and get a kick out of this episode. Jon actually is now recovering from a heart surgery we wish you a speedy recovery Jon! I’m sure you are finding a way to laugh your way through this situation too…’we’re alive baby!’

Whether you are in middle school, high school, college or the adult world remember: Life is pretty darn good, and we all have a lot to be thankful for.

Stay blessed!

In the full episode, you will learn:

  • The power forgiveness can play in your life
  • How to bounce back from adversity
  • A simple formula for success
  • Tips on finding the right partner

To follow Jon Dorenbos, click here.

Nurturing Mindfulness: Parents’ Guide to Teaching Kids the Joy of Living in the Moment


In the whirlwind of modern life, where schedules are packed, and digital distractions are ubiquitous, the art of living in the moment has become increasingly rare, yet all the more essential. This is especially true for children, who, in their formative years, are laying the foundation for their lifelong habits, perspectives, and emotional well-being. “Nurturing Mindfulness: Parents’ Guide to Teaching Kids the Joy of Living in the Moment” is a crucial exploration into how parents can effectively guide their children to embrace and enjoy the journey of life, one moment at a time.

Understanding mindfulness, a term that has gained significant attention in recent years, is the first step in this journey. Mindfulness, in its essence, is the practice of being fully present in the moment, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, without being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. For children, this translates into the ability to engage wholly with their current experience, be it playing, learning, or simply interacting with the world around them. The importance of this present-moment awareness in child development cannot be overstated. It is a counterbalance to the fast-paced, digitally-driven world, offering kids a way to center themselves, find calm, and appreciate the here and now.

Incorporating mindfulness into a child’s life isn’t just a trend; it’s a foundational skill that can enhance their emotional and cognitive development. From improving focus and attention to fostering emotional regulation and empathy, the benefits of mindfulness practices are far-reaching. However, introducing and nurturing these practices in children requires more than just a theoretical understanding; it necessitates practical, age-appropriate techniques that seamlessly integrate into their daily lives.

The role of parents in modeling and teaching mindfulness is pivotal. Children learn by example, and when parents embody mindful living, they set a powerful precedent. This involves more than just practicing mindfulness individually; it means creating a home environment that values and reflects mindfulness principles. It’s about engaging in mindful activities together, fostering open communication, and demonstrating how to be present in everyday interactions.

Yet, teaching mindfulness isn’t without its challenges, especially when it comes to navigating the inevitable stressors and anxieties of childhood. Whether it’s dealing with academic pressures, social dynamics, or emotional ups and downs, mindfulness can be a valuable tool for children to manage their reactions and emotions. It’s not about shielding them from life’s difficulties, but rather equipping them with the skills to face and process these challenges mindfully.

Looking at the long-term impact, the benefits of a mindful upbringing extend far into adulthood. Fostering mindfulness from a young age can lead to heightened emotional intelligence, improved academic performance, and a well-rounded, empathetic approach to life’s complexities. It sets the stage for children to become adults who are not only successful but also self-aware and emotionally resilient.

Lastly, integrating mindfulness into family life is not just an individual endeavor but a collective journey. By participating in mindful activities and traditions, families can strengthen their bonds and create a nurturing, supportive environment. This communal approach to mindfulness not only enriches family relationships but also extends its positive impact to the broader community.

In essence, this guide aims to empower parents with the knowledge, strategies, and inspiration to nurture mindfulness in their children. By teaching kids to enjoy the journey and live in the moment, we pave the way for a generation of individuals who are not only mentally and emotionally balanced but also deeply connected to the world around them.

Embracing the Present: The Essence of Mindfulness in Childhood

The journey of childhood is an extraordinary period of growth, discovery, and learning. Embedding mindfulness into this journey can significantly enhance a child’s ability to appreciate and navigate their world. This section explores the fundamentals of mindfulness, its critical role in child development, and strategies to balance the influences of our fast-paced digital era.

Understanding Mindfulness: Basics for Parents and Children

Mindfulness, at its core, is about being fully present and engaged in the here and now. For children, this means being aware of their surroundings, emotions, and thoughts in a non-judgmental way. It’s about experiencing life as it unfolds, moment by moment. Parents can introduce mindfulness to their children by explaining it in simple terms and through activities that encourage focused attention, such as mindful breathing or listening exercises. The key is to make these practices enjoyable and age-appropriate, ensuring that children view mindfulness as a positive and enriching part of their daily routine.

The Importance of Present-Moment Awareness in Child Development

Present-moment awareness offers numerous benefits for children’s mental, emotional, and cognitive development. It enhances their ability to concentrate, reduces stress, and helps them manage their emotions more effectively. In an age where attention is constantly divided among various stimuli, mindfulness provides a way for children to center themselves. By teaching children to be present and attentive, parents and educators can help them develop stronger relationships, better academic skills, and a more robust sense of self-awareness.

Countering the Fast-Paced Digital World: Why It Matters for Kids

In today’s digital age, children are often bombarded with stimuli that can lead to shortened attention spans and increased stress. Mindfulness offers a counterbalance to this fast-paced environment. By encouraging practices that focus on slowing down and appreciating the present, parents can help their children learn to disconnect from digital distractions and engage more deeply with the real world. This is not about eliminating technology but about finding a healthy balance where mindfulness becomes a natural part of children’s daily lives, enabling them to navigate the digital world with greater awareness and control.

In conclusion, embracing mindfulness in childhood is about more than just teaching children to be calm; it’s about equipping them with the tools to live a more conscious, engaged, and fulfilling life. As they learn to appreciate the present moment, children can build a foundation of emotional and cognitive skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Practical Techniques for Fostering Mindfulness in Children

Introducing mindfulness to children is most effective when it’s done through practical, engaging activities. This section explores various techniques that parents can use to foster mindfulness in their children, making it a fun and integral part of their everyday life.

Simple Mindfulness Activities for Different Ages

Mindfulness activities can be tailored to suit children of all ages. For younger children, activities like mindful coloring, sensory walks, or simple breathing exercises can be both fun and grounding. Older children might engage in guided meditations, yoga, or journaling to practice mindfulness. These activities should be age-appropriate, engaging, and brief enough to hold a child’s attention. The goal is to introduce mindfulness as a playful and enjoyable practice, not as a chore.

Incorporating Mindfulness into Daily Routines

Mindfulness can be seamlessly woven into a child’s daily routine. Simple practices like taking a few deep breaths before starting homework, eating meals mindfully without distractions, or taking a moment to reflect on their day before bedtime can be highly effective. Parents can encourage mindfulness during routine activities, such as brushing teeth or walking to school, by asking children to focus on their senses and the experience of the moment. These small, regular practices help in cultivating a habit of mindfulness in children.

The Role of Play in Teaching Present-Moment Enjoyment

Play is a natural way for children to experience mindfulness. It allows them to be fully absorbed in the moment, completely engaged in their imagination and creativity. Parents can encourage mindful play by setting aside time for unstructured play, free from digital distractions. This could be outdoor play, imaginative play, or even board games that require focus and engagement. Through play, children learn to be present, a skill that translates into other areas of their lives.

In conclusion, teaching mindfulness to children doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming. By incorporating simple, playful activities into their daily lives, parents can help their children develop the ability to be present and mindful. These practical techniques not only make mindfulness accessible to children but also add an element of joy and engagement to the process of learning this valuable life skill.

The Parental Role in Modeling Mindful Living

One of the most effective ways to teach mindfulness to children is for parents to model it themselves. This section discusses how parents can embody mindful living and create an environment conducive to mindfulness in their family.

Leading by Example: Mindfulness Practices for Parents

Children often emulate the behaviors and attitudes of their parents. Therefore, when parents practice mindfulness themselves, they naturally impart these values to their children. Mindful parenting involves being present during interactions with children, managing one’s own stress and emotions effectively, and demonstrating patience and empathy. Simple practices like mindful breathing, being fully attentive during conversations, and showing appreciation for small moments can have a profound impact on how children perceive and engage with the world.

Creating a Mindful Home Environment

A mindful home environment is one that promotes peace, presence, and emotional safety. This can be achieved through various means such as minimizing clutter, reducing digital distractions, and creating spaces for relaxation and reflection. Parents can also encourage mindfulness through shared family activities like mindful eating, where the focus is on enjoying the meal without external distractions, or having regular family meetings to reflect on each other’s experiences and feelings. These practices help in fostering a sense of calm and connectedness within the family.

Encouraging Open Communication and Active Listening

Open communication and active listening are crucial aspects of mindful living. Parents can encourage this by being fully present when interacting with their children, listening to them without judgment, and responding with empathy. This also involves teaching children to express their thoughts and feelings openly and respectfully. By creating an environment where everyone feels heard and valued, parents can help their children develop important communication skills and a deeper understanding of mindfulness in relationships.

In summary, the role of parents in modeling and teaching mindfulness is critical. By practicing mindful living themselves, creating a conducive home environment, and fostering open communication, parents can significantly influence their children’s understanding and adoption of mindfulness. This not only benefits the children in their formative years but also sets a foundation for mindful living throughout their lives.

Overcoming Challenges: Teaching Kids to Navigate Stress and Anxiety

Childhood is not without its stressors and anxieties, and mindfulness can be a powerful tool to help children navigate these challenges. This section explores how mindfulness can aid in managing emotions, building resilience, and addressing fears.

Mindfulness as a Tool for Managing Emotions

Mindfulness teaches children to observe their emotions without judgment, offering them a way to understand and manage their feelings effectively. Techniques like mindful breathing or identifying emotions in the body can help children calm down when they feel overwhelmed, anxious, or upset. By learning to recognize and respond to their emotional states, children can develop greater emotional regulation and coping skills. This skill is particularly useful in situations like peer pressure, academic stress, or family conflicts.

Building Resilience Through Mindful Practices

Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity, is a critical skill that can be nurtured through mindfulness. Mindful practices teach children to approach life’s challenges with a sense of openness and curiosity rather than fear or avoidance. Techniques like gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, or even simple mindfulness meditation can help build a resilient mindset. This not only helps children deal with immediate stressors but also prepares them to face future challenges more effectively.

Addressing Common Childhood Fears Mindfully

Children often face various fears, from fear of the dark to anxiety about school. Mindfulness can help children address these fears in a gentle and effective way. Parents can guide children through exercises that help them understand and soothe their fears, such as visualizing a safe place or discussing their fears openly in a non-threatening environment. Mindfulness provides a framework for children to understand that while fears are a natural part of life, they do not have to be overwhelming or limiting.

In conclusion, overcoming challenges through mindfulness is an invaluable aspect of childhood development. By teaching children to use mindfulness in managing emotions, building resilience, and addressing fears, parents and educators can equip them with the tools to navigate the complexities of growing up with confidence and calm.

The Long-Term Benefits of a Mindful Upbringing

Instilling mindfulness in children is not just beneficial for their current well-being; it has significant long-term impacts that can shape their adult lives. This section examines how a mindful upbringing influences emotional intelligence, academic success, and overall life satisfaction.

Fostering Emotional Intelligence and Empathy

A key benefit of mindfulness is its contribution to the development of emotional intelligence (EQ). Mindful children learn to recognize and understand their own emotions as well as those of others. This heightened awareness fosters empathy, an essential skill for building healthy relationships and navigating social situations. Emotional intelligence, cultivated through mindfulness, equips children with the ability to respond to situations with consideration and compassion, traits that are invaluable in personal and professional contexts.

Mindfulness and Academic Performance: Connecting the Dots

Mindfulness has been shown to positively impact academic performance. By enhancing concentration, reducing stress, and improving cognitive flexibility, mindfulness helps children become more effective learners. Mindful practices like focused attention and meditation can improve memory and problem-solving skills, leading to better academic outcomes. Moreover, the stress-reducing benefits of mindfulness can help children approach their studies with a calmer, more focused mindset, essential for academic success.

Preparing for Adulthood: The Lifelong Impact of Mindful Living

The benefits of a mindful upbringing extend well into adulthood. Mindfulness lays a foundation for lifelong learning, adaptability, and emotional resilience. Adults who practiced mindfulness as children are often better equipped to handle stress, navigate complex emotions, and maintain a balanced perspective in life. Furthermore, the habits formed during childhood often persist, meaning that mindful children are likely to continue practicing mindfulness throughout their lives, reaping its benefits in various aspects of adult life, from personal relationships to professional endeavors.

In summary, the long-term benefits of a mindful upbringing are profound and far-reaching. By teaching children the art of living mindfully, we prepare them not just for the challenges of childhood, but for a fulfilling, balanced, and compassionate adult life.

Conclusion: Cultivating a Mindful Future for Our Children

As we wrap up our exploration into how parents can teach their kids to enjoy the journey and live in the moment, it’s clear that mindfulness is not just a practice but a way of life. Through “Nurturing Mindfulness: Parents’ Guide to Teaching Kids the Joy of Living in the Moment,” we have delved into the essence of mindfulness in childhood, practical techniques for fostering it, the vital role of parents, and the strategies for overcoming challenges and embracing the long-term benefits of a mindful upbringing.

The journey of instilling mindfulness in our children is one filled with learning, growth, and shared experiences. By embracing the present, we open a world of awareness, empathy, and emotional intelligence for our children. The practical techniques discussed provide a roadmap for integrating mindfulness into everyday life, making it an accessible and enjoyable practice. As parents, our role in modeling mindful living is crucial, as our actions and attitudes set a lasting example for our children.

Moreover, the long-term benefits of a mindful upbringing are undeniable. From improved academic performance to enhanced emotional intelligence and better coping skills, mindfulness equips children with the tools they need for a successful and fulfilling life. As they grow and face life’s challenges, the lessons of mindfulness will serve as a guiding light, helping them navigate with resilience and calm.

In conclusion, our journey as parents and educators is not just about teaching our children to succeed in the conventional sense; it’s about guiding them to live mindfully, with a deep appreciation for the present moment. By fostering mindfulness from a young age, we prepare our children not only for the challenges of childhood but also for a life filled with awareness, compassion, and balance.

We invite you to continue this journey with us, exploring and sharing the joys and challenges of mindful parenting. Together, let’s cultivate a future where our children thrive in the present, equipped with the wisdom and skills to build a mindful, empathetic, and conscious world.