The tremendous health and mental benefits of meditation are not unknown to the world. It is a practice that keeps giving and the benefits are extraordinary!
While adults experience the benefits of meditation in their hectic day-to-day lives, wouldn’t it be great if children picked it up at a young age too?
If you think it’s too soon for them to start, research proves that kids who meditate have a better attention span, and overall composed behaviour. It has shown great improvement in kids who have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.) It also improves school performance, behaviour problems, eating disorders and promotes good sleep. Sounds so good already, right?
As Andrea Gurney, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, states, “Kids who practice meditation and mindfulness reap a host of benefits. In our fast-paced world, it can be incredibly helpful for children to learn to slow down, breathe deeply and clear their minds.”
Following these tips will help you make meditation a part of your kid’s lifestyle.
Practice what you preach
Kids are really good at mirroring their parents. If you want them to meditate, you should too. These little mimic artists will follow actions and not words. Every time you meditate, ask them to join. Seeing you do it, it’s very likely that they will come along and naturally develop the habit of meditating.
Get the basics right
A quiet surrounding, the right posture, soothing background music, can all help your kid while meditating. Be it your living room or bedroom, make sure that it’s relatively quiet and void of outside noise. Ask them to either sit upright or lie down, whatever they prefer. Lastly, add some instrument music or mantras in the background score, it helps amplify their concentration.
Slowly delve into it
Begin by asking them to breathe deeply. Inhale through their nose and exhale through their mouth. Allow them to focus on their breathing. Ask them to notice how their belly rises and falls during this action.
Let the action begin
With their eyes closed, encourage them to imagine the warmth of the sun touching on the top of their head, and slowly traveling through the body. After a minute, ask them to wiggle their fingers, and feet, then toes, and notice how it feels. They might feel a little tingly, and light.
If your kid has a hard time doing the above, you can ask them to slowly count from 1 to 100, numbering each breath they take. If that does not work, ask them to close their eyes, imagine a blackboard, and drawing something on it. A house, a tree, a scenery, it can be anything. Let this activity engage their mind. Once done, ask them to focus on their breathing again.
At the end of the session, ask them to rub their palms together to warm them up, and place them on their closed eyes for 10 seconds. Let them open their eyes slowly and gently, and stay in the moment.
Things you should remember
- Kids have a hard time staying in a place for long. Begin with 1-minute meditation sessions.
- Sometimes, when they really are not in the mood, let them be. It’s okay if they don’t meditate every day.
- Don’t try to force them to meditate. It will only make it sound tedious and boring to them.
- Perfection is not the key here. They’ll take time to navigate through things, don’t rush them into it.
This video by BK Shivani will further help you understand the topic, and clear your doubts.