How To Introduce Meditation To Your Children
It’s so easy in today’s hectic whirl wind of modern life to become distracted from the moment and lost in a stream of habitual thinking. We are worrying about future problems that may or may not ever happen or dwelling on past mistakes. With the explosion of research validating its many benefits, it’s no surprise that meditation is bringing a calm to the storm. This short article will show you 4 easy ways to introduce meditation to your children.
We have over 20,000 thoughts everyday which our emotions reflect upon. One minute we are happy, the next angry, the next anxious and the next depressed. Meditation helps us to quieten the voice in our heads and become aware of what is really going on inside. It allows us to appreciate the good times even more and manage the bad with a calm approach. If you haven’t been exposed to the power of mindfulness and meditation, you can check out some studies done by Harvard university here.
As adults, having the commitment and patience to stick with meditation is no small feat. Imagine being taught this wonderful gift as a child and how easy it would be to pick up and how much of a better place the world would be if we were all present, caring and compassionate.
While mindfulness is now being taught as extra curriculum in some schools across the world, children follow their parent’s guidance more than anything else. Which is why, as a parent you should help to enforce this wonderful habit. I do understand that this is easier said than done! From my own experience I have found some subtle tips and techniques that have worked for myself and friends which I would love to share with you.
4 Ways To Introduce Meditation To Your Children
1. Create a special place
Children love fantasy, they love using their imagination. I remember when I was a kid, we would make pillow forts and cover dungeons. Any place in the house that I decorated with my toys would be classed as my special place and you needed a special passcode to get in. Designate a special place for your kids to meditate and allow them to name it. Encourage them to decorate it with things that are meaningful to them. Maybe even buy them a ‘special’ meditation cushion and let them know that this is a sacred place for them to come and quiet their mind.
2. Lead by example
Children emulate their parents. At a young age all they want to do is be like them and to do the “adult” things. Lead by example by first developing your own practice. Make sure you are committed to your practice and that your kids see that this is a non-negotiable for you each day. Once there is a genuine interest built up on their part, they will be so much more open to developing their own practice.
3. Make Meditation simple
It’s best not to cloud your young ones with the 101 different types of meditation practices there are out there. Instead put yourself in their shoes and break it down for them. Let them know what to expect. It could go something like this, “Focus on your breath and feel the sensation as you inhale and exhale. Feel the air flowing through your body. The reason we do this is to focus our attention, which helps quiet our minds. After a couple of minutes you might find that you are no longer focusing on your breath and you are lost in thought. Don’t worry! This is natural. As soon as you catch yourself lost in thought just bring your attention back to your breath.”
This does a number of things. It lets them know what to expect and avoids frustration arising when they inevitably get lost in some thoughts throughout their practice.
4. Use guided meditations
Guided meditations come down to personal preference. Some people like having that sense of direction throughout their practice and some prefer total silence. For your children I would definitely recommend trying some different guided meditations because it allows them to choose for themselves. Guided meditations will help give them some guidance through the early stage of their practice and prevent them getting disheartened at the early stages of their journey.
The more we can encourage our young ones to become more mindful and aware of what is going on inside, the more compassionate, caring, focused and driven they will be as they flourish into adulthood.
Mindfulness will make the world a more peaceful place, and where better to start than our children.
We hope you enjoyed this post and that you have discovered a few helpful tips to help you introduce meditation into the lives of your young ones. Check out some of the benefits of teaching your children the art of mindfulness and meditation here.
Please let us know your thoughts or if you have any more useful tips to share with the community.