Creating Mindfulness in Your Child through Meditation
When you think of people engaging in meditation, you probably do not picture children sitting around quietly with their eyes closed. Kids are usually busy asking questions and learning new things, not focusing on their breath. So, can a child really sit and relax for a meditation? The truth is that meditation has successfully been taught to children for a long time. So yes, it is quite possible.
While children do have short attention spans on most days, practicing meditation will help them develop into adults who are calm, centered, and self-aware. This will help them to become more well-rounded and less stressed individuals.
Benefits of Meditating With Your Children
Meditation can help connect them with their inner selves. Often time kids can be too focused on the world around them and forget to spend time connecting with their spiritual being. Meditation can help them connect to that spiritual side inside of themselves, and they can really start to understand that there is much more to their lives than just their physical surroundings like their toys, clothes, or bedroom.
Meditation can help a child become more creative. All of their creative ideas and urges are hidden inside of them, and often those ideas and urges are not heard over the chatter of the physical (and loud) world outside. However, connecting to their inner selves during meditation can allow them to connect to their inner selves at other times of the day, and encourage them to explore their inner creativity.
Meditation can help to make a child more mindful, because meditation is really all about mindfulness. Being mindful of the present moment will not only benefit them now, but it will benefit them later on in life as well. It will allow them to be more aware of their childhood as it happens, and they will carry that mindfulness into their adulthood. Meditation will help them truly enjoy their life in the moment instead of waiting for the next great thing, or reflecting on what could have been.
Meditation can help a child to concentrate better. The ability to concentrate will help them with their school and learning, which of course will benefit them greatly when they are older.
Meditation can also help a child to become more self-aware. This kind of awareness, that there is more to them than just their outer self, can help them to interact better with other kids, as well as help them to become a person who does not live in ego, but rather can see the beauty they have to offer regardless of their outward appearance.
When To Teach Your Child Meditation
Even though the benefits of meditation are enormous, all kids will not instantly appreciate the benefits for themselves. In fact, some kids will react negatively to meditation and not enjoy it all.
Forcing meditation on a child who obviously does not like it, is not going to help them become more centered. In fact, it may cause them to become just the opposite, full of anger and resentment. However, many kids will respond well to it, and the earlier you expose your kid to meditation, the more accepting they will be of it in the end.
Many kids can start practicing meditation as early as three years old, while some kids may need to wait until they are older. Choosing an age that works best for your kid will be purely at your own discretion as there is not a hard and fast rule.
However, you first need to be comfortable with meditation yourself. You have to experience the various forms of meditation, and feel the benefits for yourself, in order to teach your kid meditation. In the process, you will realize that meditation is not an easy task to master, and this will help you to guide your child during meditation in a positive and patient manner.
When you decide to start meditating with your kid, choose a time of day that works well for both of you. Practicing meditation at the same time every day will make it into a welcome routine, and it will make consistent practice much more likely. You may choose to do it first thing in the morning, or you may want to do it before bedtime if they are not too tired.
What Type of Meditation Should You Teach Your Child?
There are many different meditations to try with your kid, but probably the best kind, for kids to really stay involved in, is visualization. Getting a kid to picture a scenario is much easier than getting a kid to focus on their breath.
For example, you can do a meditation with your child that helps them focus on loving and appreciating themselves and others just as they are. Start by making your child aware of their breathing as they breathe in and out. Next, help your child visualize themselves exactly as they are in that moment. They may be sitting or lying down. It doesn’t matter. You can even tell them to visualize the space that they are in if that will help them to visualize themselves. Tell them to be happy with the image that they see of themselves because no matter what they see, they are perfect just the way they are. Next, tell them to visualize other people that they know. Instruct them to view other people with the same kind of appreciation that they view in themselves. You can even ask them to appreciate things around them like the chair or bed.
Whatever type of meditation you choose, just make sure that your child enjoys it. As long as they have a good time during the meditation, it will benefit them in some way.
Are you now thinking more about meditating with your kid? If you are, then congratulations, as you will be planting a seed for your child that will help them grow into a more mindful and loving person.