Meditation for Kids
I have always had this thought of, “What if we were taught to meditate at a young age, like 3 or 5 years old…how different would our world be?”
Not only that, but think of all the benefits and tools it can teach our children for their future, especially if we teach them at a young age.
I started meditating (the lite version) 11 years ago when I became pregnant with my 1st child. I read a book that suggested I meditate to help with anxiety. I was feeling anxious about physically having a baby. The lite meditating I was doing truly helped me get through my fears of the physical aspect of giving birth. I know it is what allowed me to have a natural birth when we came very close to having to look at other options.
In the last year and a half I have really up’d my meditating practice. I attended a conference in Denver and I actually got to that “blissful space” that “they” say one can get to when meditating. Ever since that moment, meditating became part of my life. I crave it. This is all due to the wonderful experiences I have had since last April in Denver when I reached that state of bliss through my meditation.
I choose to meditate after a workout or at night or to start my day…it just depends on what kind of day lies ahead of me. My kids have seen me doing this and started asking me if they can do it too. The changes I have seen in them and the experiences they have shared with me are truly incredible.
Our oldest child who is now 10 years old, asks me if I ‘want to meditate with him?’ every night now. Then he shares with me his experiences such as,
He felt so relaxed he felt like he was floating
He visualized an experience he wants to happen and has more confidence in himself and now is taking action to make sure it happens
He sleeps better after meditating
He wakes up excited about his day
While meditating, he saw images pop up of things and he wasn’t even thinking about them (we are exploring with this one…it’s fun)!
My youngest two boys are now following their brother’s footsteps and are asking to meditate with us. It is fun to see them learn about meditation and try it. They are 8 and 5 years old so I keep the meditation to 3-5 minutes with them. They enjoy it and I can already see the benefits it has had on them such as, feeling calm afterward, building self-confidence and wanting to learn more about the process.
Here are some basic steps to teaching your kids how to meditate.
- ‘If You Build it, They Will Come’– Have fun searching out a fun and quiet space in your home to start this fun, new practice. Of course, it can be your living room floor, or better yet, a corner or space in their bedroom so that as they continue to learn about meditation, they will have their very own space to do it!
- Play ‘The Quiet Game’– First start out asking them to close their eyes and see how long they can be quiet AND quiet their mind and their thoughts.
- Teach them the power of their breath–Whenever my kids get worked up about a situation or they are upset because this or that happened to them, I have them take very long and slow breaths with me first. This calms them down, then we can more easily discuss their concern or anger or disappointment in their issue…big or small. Whether they realize it or not at this young age, the power of taking long, deep breaths, I know I am giving them wonderful tools to use in the future when they feel stressed, anxious or upset. Talk to them about how our breath is what keeps our bodies alive and working well, and how taking long deep breaths can help us feel calm and safe and at peace when we connect with our bodies.
- “Visualize through my Eyes”–This is what I’ve been recently teaching my kids. The power or visualization. Once they have done the steps above, I ask them to visualize an experience they want to have happen in their life. I give them ideas such as: meeting a new friend, creating a new, fun game to play with their friends, making a sports team they hope to be a part of, getting a good grade on a test coming up, visiting their favorite city or favorite place to play, serving other people, etc. I explain to them to imagine how they feel once their visualization/dream/experience comes true and to hold that feeling of gratitude in their hearts of how it will feel once they experience their particular visualization. They love this part…because their imagination is limitless!!!
- Be flexible and have fun! You can get creative where you meditate with your kids! It can be in their playroom, at the dinner table before or after you eat together…or in a special place that they have created with soft music playing in the background or an essential oil in a diffuser to create a wonderful scent to help calm them! Whatever you do, make it joyful, easy, playful and fun so that they will want to continue such a rewarding practice!