How does meditation benefit kids? While their worlds may seem simple and their every need met, children experience depression, anxiety and stress much as we do.
However, they have less of an ability to cope because their brains are still developing. Meditation fosters resilience, which helps kids cope with difficult situations.
So, how do I teach my child mindfulness through meditation? This can be a simple and easy conversation with some variations based on your child’s development. Given that a number of different types of meditation exist, we have been gifted with a plethora of techniques to help us attain a focused and calm life. This post begins a series that explains the different types of meditations and how they can benefit our loved ones and us.
A Parent-guided Mindfulness meditation to do with your child:
Find a quiet place and ask your child to sit with their feet planted on the ground with their hands resting comfortably, or to lie down on their back.
Ask your child to breathe deeply and relax their body. You may count, breathe in 1….2….3, and breathe out, 1….2….3.
Ask your child to be aware, beginning with concentrating on their body and thoughts; Does your child have a tickle or an itch? Does their ouchie still hurt from falling off their bike, or does it feel healed?
Ask your child to notice if their thoughts create sadness or anger or a feeling of safety and happiness? Are they warm and relaxed?
Recognize each thought that arises without judging or trying to change it.
What sounds and sensations is your child getting from their surroundings? Do they hear cars, birds, rain, etc.? Invite your child to notice those sounds, but not fixate on them. Ask them to try to concentrate on letting them float through their mind.
Stay in this present moment, letting go of any thoughts of yesterday or tomorrow.
Ask your child to let thoughts, feeling and sensations float through them. Concentrate on the breath and relax into calm.
Furthering the Practice of Mindful Meditation
The previous example is something you can do with your family while you are camping, waiting for the bus, while on the playground or on an airplane. Additionally, you can include several Wellbeyond meditations that have been designed to help your family concentrate on being mindful.
Take as much time as there is. There is no magic amount of time it takes to become mindful or achieve a relaxed state. Most certainly, the earlier in life a child begins this practice, the more likely they will attain:
- more calmness and mental stability
- increased focus, ability to concentrate, attention to details and productivity
- less emotional distress, anxiety and stress
- better sleep