We know the benefits of a regular meditation practice right?
So why wouldn’t we get our children to do it too?
Maybe you’ve asked them to and they have jokingly sat in lotus position OM-ing and then taken off?
That’s often what happens at my house but there are ways in which you can trick them into practicing and just the fact that you are exposing them to meditation is one step in the right direction.
Schools are beginning to use meditation instead of detention with incredible results. It helps children calm down, re-focus and lose those feelings of pent up frustration and anger through deep breathing and concentration.
So why wouldn’t we want some of that at home?
It definitely is easier said than done but here are some of the ways to sneak meditation into your children’s routine:
Do It Yourself
They are not going to do it if you are not doing it. You are their role model and they won’t do something that they deem as different and not fun if you are not a good example.
I meditate each morning and without fail my boys will jump onto my lap at some point whilst I’m meditating and get a cuddle, or put their heads in my lap or sit there and hold my hand. It may be one minute or five but they are getting quiet time and being exposed to meditation at the same time.
Take Them To Yoga
This is an easy one – you don’t have to teach them yourself if you send them to class. Yoga is beneficial for kids of all ages and it’s fun too. There is usually a little breathing exercise in the beginning and always Savasana at the end where they have to lie and be still whilst focusing on their breathing.
Join them for an evening meditation in their bed.
My boys like nothing more than me lying with them. Sometimes they will wriggle and complain if I try to put on a meditation with them whilst they are just getting into bed but they are incredibly attentive if I pop in after lights out and they can snuggle with me and listen to a guided meditation on my phone. I usually just put on one of my own, a sleep focused one, and my oldest will sometimes get out of bed and ask me to put it on for him. It’s their way of thinking they are tricking us into getting more time awake and spending more time with us.
This morning my five year old was a bit upset that he fell asleep quickly and missed the meditation I did with my seven year old last night. They really love that one on one time.
Night Time CD’s
I have a few, especially for kids, meditation cd’s that I put on for them some nights. They are usually magical sleep time stories of heroes and dragons that ask them to focus on their breathing and imagine taking a journey.
At Home Yoga
I have a couple of yoga games that I pull out every now and then for the kids to play. They are cards with poses on it or we play What’s The Pose Mr Wolf. We always start off though focusing on our breathes and end with a short meditation.
Calming Them Down When They Are Upset
Whether they are yelling, crying or screaming, as long as they are safe and not really hurt then you can just give them a cuddle and ask them to focus on their breathing. This is a beautiful tool that they can use for the rest of their life. Ask them to make their tummy big like a balloon and blow out all the air. Or feel their breath at their nostrils – is it cool? hot? fast? slow? They might refuse to do it, but remind them each time. They won’t forget it and may eventually use these tools you are giving them when they need them.