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Mindfulness for children with difficulty concentrating


It seems that more and more children find it difficult to pay attention, who do not concentrate, who forget everything and who do not seem to listen. The practice of Mindfulness or mindfulness helps these children to concentrate, to realize what is going through their head and to focus their attention.

Numerous investigations are showing that Mindfulness practice activates brain areas who are involved in planning, memory, concentration and the execution of tasks. On the contrary, it inhibits or relaxes areas that children with attention problems are over-activated, and that is why they are distracted by anything and jump from one activity to another. We explain how Mindfulness activity benefits the child's concentration:

1. Hearing attention: In Mindfulness sessions, every time the bell or Tibetan story rings, the children know that they have to stop whatever they are doing, they have to close their eyes, listen very carefully to the sound and remain silent until they stop hearing that sound. This can take up to 20 seconds.

2. Visual attention: stay for 12 minutes looking a partner in the eyes, in silence; look at a candle for 5 minutes; or looking at a set of objects and then remembering them are some examples.

3. Touch attention: Couple massages are done to pay attention to the sensations that are being received, both when it is done and when it is received. For example, in the 'pizza' massage, each child is 'putting' different ingredients on their partner's back, which involve different types of massage. In the end, beautiful words are also written, such as peace, love ... or virtues that the other has, because these are also part of that pizza.

4. Attention to the environment: Passing a glass of water to each other may seem easy, but if this is done with your eyes closed things get complicated. So that the glass does not fall, it is necessary for the children to be silent, very concentrated, noticing all the sounds around them, which give them clues as to when the glass reaches them.

5. Conscious walk: take a walk with the sole purpose of walking, looking, smelling, listening, in silence, paying attention to the other's step so as not to get lost. If, in addition, a gong sounds from time to time, this makes one stop, and realize if at that moment his thoughts were on the walk or in another place.

6. Conscious sitting breathing: staying still, sitting, straight, focused on the breath, doing nothing, gradually makes the attention develop. Placing your hands on the gut also helps to become aware of how the gut swells with each inspiration, and deflates with each exhalation. Each child's time is very personal. There are 8-year-old children who from day one can breathe for 5 minutes without problem, and children who find it difficult to be still for 30 seconds. Similarly, some children may have their eyes closed, and others may not. It is important to respect the rhythm of each child.

7. Conscious breathing walking: a variation of the previous one, for children who cannot sit still. It is about walking slowly, slowly, slowly. To do this, pebbles are placed on the feet so that you have to pay attention not to fall, or a plate on the head.

As always happens, parental involvement is essential. These activities are not special. They acquire that special character that Mindfulness provides when the person who imparts them does so from their practice. Therefore, to practice them as a family, parents have to know the meaning of them and above all be very present, with their attention focused on what is done, without forcing and with the intention of enjoying.

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