Is mindfulness practicing a hobby?

Mindfulness // With children

From Irina Luxem in conversation with Jacqueline Bencsik

Corona has confronted many people with a completely new rhythm of life. Life has been slowed down, is out of whack for many and has left a lot of time. Many have discovered this new rhythm of life as an opportunity to take more time for themselves, to live more in the here and now and finally to slow down. Mindfulness can help with this. Mindfulness can also be a great way to keep the calm you have gained in the future or to find inner peace in troubled times.

But what about the smallest in our society?
Kindergartens, schools and playgrounds have been closed, club sports no longer take place and friends are no longer allowed to meet. A situation that many children are still unable to understand and that is extremely difficult for them.
We talked to Jacqueline Bencsik, social worker and mindfulness trainer, how mindfulness can also help children to cope with such incomprehensible exceptional situations; But how such slowed-down situations are ideally suited to approach the topic and to practice mindfulness for and with children.

Not only adults, but also children are often stressed during their leisure time. From one sports hobby to the next, learning a musical instrument shouldn't be missing in between and you have already made an appointment with friends on the playground. “We have the opportunity to make the best of the Corona situation, even to see it as a gift. We are forced to spend more time in our own four walls, but we can now use this to slow down and spend it consciously with our loved ones and ourselves, without any free-time stress, "says Jacky in the first few days became aware of their work in inpatient youth welfare, which cannot simply be closed. It is the right time to practice mindfulness and to be more mindful, as everyone now has time for it and is not already rushing to the next appointment.

Jacky says that in a previous project she and elementary school children gathered ideas on how to become more mindful in everyday life. She also played through 10 of these mindfulness suggestions in the inpatient youth welfare service with girls of different ages:

Parents, educators and club trainers can also do these mindfulness exercises with the children. They can be adapted and developed further - there are no limits here. It is important that the parents, educators or trainers have already dealt with the subject of mindfulness, as children need child-friendly guidance. You cannot expect children to find inner peace in the here and now when you are on the run yourself.

For many children, one or the other exercise will be strange the first time. Jacky also talks about such experiences with the girls in her living group: “At the beginning they were a bit skeptical. For them it was unfamiliar to simply “do nothing”, to listen to their surroundings and to watch clouds. They are now very motivated and help create the exercises imaginatively. I enjoy bringing mindfulness closer to them and thus strengthening their resources. Besides, they are busy for a while and their creativity is encouraged. "

Mindfulness training is not a "panacea". But in addition to creativity, mindfulness exercises can also increase attention potential and learning success. Mindfulness can also give both adults and children a nice opportunity to reduce stress potential and strengthen psychological resilience. This can be of great help, especially in today's fast-paced society striving for success.

You can also find out more in the podcast with Jacqueline Bencsik about how she came up with the subject of mindfulness for and with children, what successes she was able to achieve in terms of attention duration in a small study on mindfulness with children and how she approached the subject of mindfulness with children as Novice recommends approaching it.


About Jacqueline Bencsik:

Jacqueline Bencsik is a trained social worker and mindfulness trainer for children. At the German Sports Academy she is a lecturer on the subject of mindfulness with children in various series of webinars. She not only wants to sensitize parents, teachers and trainers, but also the children themselves more to the subject of mindfulness in order to develop more potential with the positive effects. On her blog she writes about this topic, reports on her projects, tells anecdotes and gives suggestions for further mindfulness exercises for children in everyday life.


Have you already registered for the free "Mindfulness with Children" webinar?
Here you can find the information and dates.

To accompany our online series “21 Days of Mindfulness” you can download our diary here.