Shelby Samperton was curious to find a better way to handle all of life’s ups and downs. As a single mother of 3, she understands the importance of leading by example. When she first started looking into Mindfulness, she was drawn to the sense of calm, understanding, and enlightenment the practice created within her. Shelby was instantly inspired to share and grow this practice not only within her own family but with others as well.
I am very passionate about practicing mindfulness with my children and working towards dealing with situations calmly and methodically so I was thrilled to learn about Shelby’s take on this when I came across a discussion on the Mama’s Show. Not only has Shelby launched the Kids Mindfulness Project but she also wrote and published a book about equanimity called Pearl the Mindful Turtle. Below Shelby explains more about the foundations of mindfulness as well as ways to incorporate them into your daily lives with your children and we hope you take away some beneficial tips!
The Kids Mindfulness Project is an initiative to bring mindfulness practices to children and their families. Research shows that families with parents and children who practice mindfulness show far less stress and fewer conflicts.
Mindfulness is a practice of being aware in the present moment. It is operating from a place of calm and peace rather than reacting to situations or emotions. Mindfulness practice can be used in may ways, breathing techniques, mindful meditation, even just being mindful when you eat or drive in the car!
Teaching children how to practice mindfulness will instill in them lifelong skills to draw on in difficult times. Mindfulness encourages a non-judgmental way of being and feeling in the present moment. By going inside yourself, kids can learn to self-sooth, calm themselves down and operate with a clear mind. Mindfulness encourages that all feelings and emotions are valid but we don’t need to react to them. By practicing mindfulness, we learn to accept our emotions, feel them and then let them pass. Research shows that students who practiced mindfulness and mostly who practiced it before a test or an exam had a much higher performance rate.
The Kids Mindfulness Project encourages families to find little ways to practice mindfulness every day. Just like any skill, mindfulness is a practice and will grow stronger with a consistent practice.
We recommend trying mindfulness in the car, on the way to and from school. Kids may not be open to it at first, but just like trying anything new, keep going!
We love the Pinna app. It’s a kids only podcast app. On Pinna, you can find the Relax And Be Happy podcast. These are short, mindful mediations aimed at teaching children how to be mindful. It’s a fun and easy way to incorporate mindfulness into your every day routine! Other wonderful calming apps are Headspace and Calm.