You may think it’s unnecessary to teach your children how to meditate but studies have shown that meditation can have many benefits such as reducing stress, boosting immunity, aiding concentration and memory. Meditation is used by many people today as a useful tool to assist in calming the mind and relaxing the body. With the rising levels of anxiety and stress in young people today, it is no wonder parents want to introduce them to meditation. Here are some suggestions on how to introduce your child to meditation.
Lead by example
Children are prone to copy adult behaviour so it may be as simple as setting an example. You can sit quietly with them sitting quietly beside you. You cannot force them to meditate and they should not regard it as a chore. Your goal is to make them accustomed to the practice and stimulate their curiosity about it.
Many experts suggest one minute of meditation for each year of age, starting at about the age of eight. You may start out with some questions over dinner or at bedtime encouraging reflective gratitude. Ask a child what he or she felt happy or sad about during the day or about a person he or she is thankful for. Another way to start is to have a short period of silence. You can even turn it into a game of who can be silent for longest.
Use a timer
Using a timer can help because the child knows there is a definite endpoint. Start the timer and tell the child to shut their eyes and try not to move until the timer goes off. Sitting still does not come naturally at first. Encourage the child to relax and breathe deeply. The period for which they can do this will get longer with time.
A special space and a routine
Choose a special spot for a child to meditate. Kid’s love props so encourage them to keep items special to them in their space. Make it welcoming with a cushion or blanket. Establishing a routine will depend on your child’s age and character and usually comes with some trial and error.
Try some simple breathing exercises
Get them to notice their chests while breathing in and out. Encourage them to take longer, deeper, slower breaths. A fun breathing activity they can relate to is to imagine blowing out a birthday candle. Get them to clasp their hands together and raise their two index fingers. They must inhale deeply and then exhale to blow out the ‘candle’.
Try using an app
Today many of the apps used by kids make them more hyper. However, there are apps of a different sort available too. These meditation apps that are tailored specifically to help them learn to meditate and are designed for kids of all ages. A child can tap on a monster to help him calm down, learn more about emotions, use an anxiety-fighting tool, play a memory game or use an easy guided meditation.
Would you like to introduce your child to meditation? What do you think about the suggestions above? Do leave your thoughts in a comment below.
Author bio: Jennifer Rice is a lover of all things living and has dedicated her life to making a difference to all those who cross her path. A passion for mind and body movement has led her into a long and successful career in pilates; teaching on a global scale, with clients in Canada, New Zealand, Dubai ,LA, Jordan and most recently Spain. Her understanding of how the human body performs, combined with her extensive knowledge of nutrition and natural health therapies, allow Jennifer to be the complete wellness expert. Not content to just help humans, Jennifer has a heart for animals and has been known to spend her time, when she isn’t working with clients or in her garden, at her local animal refuge centre, donating her time to our furry or feathered friends in need.
A wanderlust spirit keeps Jennifer on the move and her worldly outlook on life brings a refreshing point of view; always with a smile and an open heart.