In a world where electronics rule behavior and disconnection is a rising problem, it’s easy for our children to become overstimulated. Studies from Berkeley have shown that teaching kids mindfulness and meditation can build student’s attentiveness, respect for fellow classmates, self-control, and empathy, all while reducing stress, hyperactive behavior, ADHD symptoms, and depression. Below I have 3 simple tips for kid’s meditation.
We all love our children and want the very best for them, so why not consider a tool that can help them for the rest of their life. Mindfulness and meditation are proven to help children fend off negative thoughts and behaviors, build self-confidence, focus, and to treat others and themselves with respect and appreciation. Imagine learning these tools as a young child and then being able to use them your entire life!
Whether you’re a parent, teacher, babysitter, or caregiver, try out these 3 simple tips to introduce kid’s meditation and mindfulness.
Lead by Example
As a parent, it is most important to first develop your own meditation practice and then show your children the way.
Children don’t learn by “Do as I say, not as I do”. They observe our actions and follow suit based on how we engage ourselves. Kid’s meditation teacher Tejal Patel has found that the children who have the most success with becoming more calm and relaxed are those whose parents model their own personal mindfulness and meditation.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate. The point is to get your child into a practice of settling their mind and becoming more mindful. Sit down in a lotus posture with your eyes closed.
Lotus posture (or Padmasana) is sitting with your legs crossed and back straight. The pose is said to increase circulation in the lumbar spine, nourish and tone the hips, and increase flexibility. Keeping the eyes closed allows for deeper relaxation.
Small children will be fidgety. Just encourage them to try their best to sit still with eyes closed until the timer goes off. The most important focus is on long, deep, and slow breaths. The point is to make the belly rise up on the inhale and contract to small again as they exhale.
Let It Come Naturally
Meditation may not come naturally to your child. The point is that over time and with regular practice, they will be able to sit still longer and they will begin to experience many of the wonderful benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Don’t push it, but gently encourage them to practice regularly.
I hope this helps! If you’re looking to fall asleep, I highly recommend my blog post on yoga poses for sleep. If you’ve had any experience working with your own child on mindfulness and meditation, I’d love to hear your tips at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletter below to receive helpful blog posts like these right to your inbox.