Meditation can bring so many benefits to children, from an awareness of and control over their own emotions, to empathy for others, lower stress levels and a more focused attitude.
But for kids, especially young ones, the idea of sitting in silence for half an hour isn’t exactly appealing. Fortunately, there are easy ways to introduce your child to the benefits of meditation. Do this right and they’ll take the first steps towards a daily meditation practice which will stand them in good stead throughout their adult and teen years.
1 Demystify the Process
In order to teach your child to meditate, you need to set a good example. Let them see you meditating, and explain to them how good you feel afterwards. If you don’t make this a part of your own day, why should they? Always practice what you preach.
2 Introduce Simple Awareness Concepts
With a young child, one of the best ways to introduce the concept of meditation is to indulge in some cloud gazing. Just lie together and watch the clouds drift past. Turn it into a game, and encourage your child to really focus on the clouds and their changing shapes, and to try not to be distracted by anything else.
You can also introduce some sound awareness too. Get your child to close their eyes, lie quietly and describe to you all of the sounds they can hear. Can they tell where the sounds are coming from? Can they begin to notice, too, the absence of a sound when one stops? All of this will help them to gradually develop mindfulness, and to enjoy sitting quietly.
3 Get Some Celebrity Help
A surprising number of celebrities have some kind of meditation practice. From Kobe Bryant to Katy Perry and Kourtney Kardashian, musicians, sports starts and actors across the spectrum are tuned in to the benefits of meditation. Find out if any of your child’s favorite celebrities meditate, and tell them about it. Better yet, if they’re old enough, get them to find out for you. Discoveries like this can magically turn meditation into something cool.
4 Create a Meditation Corner
Once your child is willing to give meditation a go, help them to create a quiet meditation corner in their bedroom. Children will love finding some special pebbles or nature treasures to go on their own little meditation altar, and you can either buy or create a special pillow of their choice for them to use when meditating (and only when meditating).