Tuesday, January 14, 2020
10 Easy Tips to Help Your Child Learn to Meditate
January 6th, 2020
By Nikki Harper
Meditation can bring so many benefits to children, from an awareness of and control over their own emotions, to empathy for others, lower stress levels and a more focused attitude.
But for kids, especially young ones, the idea of sitting in silence for half an hour isn’t exactly appealing. Fortunately, there are easy ways to introduce your child to the benefits of meditation. Do this right and they’ll take the first steps towards a daily meditation practice which will stand them in good stead throughout their adult and teen years.
1 Demystify the Process
In order to teach your child to meditate, you need to set a good example. Let them see you meditating, and explain to them how good you feel afterwards. If you don’t make this a part of your own day, why should they? Always practice what you preach.
2 Introduce Simple Awareness Concepts
With a young child, one of the best ways to introduce the concept of meditation is to indulge in some cloud gazing. Just lie together and watch the clouds drift past. Turn it into a game, and encourage your child to really focus on the clouds and their changing shapes, and to try not to be distracted by anything else.
You can also introduce some sound awareness too. Get your child to close their eyes, lie quietly and describe to you all of the sounds they can hear. Can they tell where the sounds are coming from? Can they begin to notice, too, the absence of a sound when one stops? All of this will help them to gradually develop mindfulness, and to enjoy sitting quietly.
3 Get Some Celebrity Help
A surprising number of celebrities have some kind of meditation practice. From Kobe Bryant to Katy Perry and Kourtney Kardashian, musicians, sports starts and actors across the spectrum are tuned in to the benefits of meditation. Find out if any of your child’s favorite celebrities meditate, and tell them about it. Better yet, if they’re old enough, get them to find out for you. Discoveries like this can magically turn meditation into something cool.
4 Create a Meditation Corner
Once your child is willing to give meditation a go, help them to create a quiet meditation corner in their bedroom. Children will love finding some special pebbles or nature treasures to go on their own little meditation altar, and you can either buy or create a special pillow of their choice for them to use when meditating (and only when meditating).
5 Set Your Child Up for Success
Choose the timing of your child’s first meditation sessions carefully. There’s no point in setting them up for failure by suggesting they meditate when they’re over-excited, rushed or stressed out. Just before bedtime is usually a good time, but you could choose any time of day when your child is generally calm and relaxed.
6 Stick to the Routine
Once you and your child have chosen a time of day, try to stick to it. Like every other habit, a meditation practice takes some work to establish, but it will help if you child grows to know when to expect meditation time – they will even begin to look forward to it.
7 Don’t Set Your Expectations Too High
To begin with, just a few moments of meditation is more than enough. Don’t expect your child to sit for ages, and certainly don’t show your disappointment if they don’t. Little by little does it. Praise and encourage any meditation time they do get in, without trying to force the issue.
8 Be Imaginative
Many children will love it if you act as their “guide” on a guided meditation journey. This is your chance to let your mind soar, and come up with some beautiful and fun journeys for them to undertake. After a while, if your child is old enough, he or she will be able to create their own journeys.
9 Choose Some Kid-Friendly Meditation Tracks
There is a wide range of guided meditation products and tracks for children, so choose a few that you know your child will enjoy, and add to their repertoire of meditation options. Or you could even record your own!
10 Don’t Limit Your Child’s Options
Young children love to move around, and your child may not do well at seated meditation. That’s perfectly OK. Consider encouraging your child to find regular meditation moments while they’re on the swing, for example, or while wandering around the yard. Just because you sit still to mediate doesn’t mean they should have to!
By following these ten tips, you’ll be able to gently introduce the benefits of meditation to even the youngest child. It’s never too early to start, and sharing meditation is a very loving and bonding thing to do.
After a while, you should start to notice a drop in your child’s stress levels, improved sleep, improved attention and improved behavior. The wonders of meditation have a great deal to offer your little one, so why not get started today?