Meditation for kids? Wow, is that real? They fidget too much! Well it is real, try to introduce your kid with a meditation, and it will help you greatly in the process of upbringing him. Meditation will be good for your kid no matter how old he is but if you want to get the best results, you should consider your kid’s age and special psychological traits.
Probably you just can’t imagine your child sitting still without moving, with his eyes closed, meditating. You shouldn’t expect that he stays calm and motionless during an hour, trying to focus on his thoughts, personal development or trying to reach some peace of mind. Nevertheless, meditation would make a wonderful addition to your kid’s upbringing and education. Besides, you’d be surprised to see that your child can really stay calm and quiet for a while.
Why is mediation so good for kids?
– Kids learn building self-control.
– Mediation helps your kids develop healthy personal qualities, such as high self-esteem and confidence.
– Meditation helps support their physical and emotional health, as well as contributes to their balanced development.
– Meditation helps your kid relax.
– Meditation teaches your kid how to be creative and encourages self-actualization.
– Meditation teaches how to focus on important things and to be more attentive at school.
– Meditation brings self-awareness.
– Meditation teaches your kid to realize the importance and value of patience.
When it comes to meditation, all kids might be conventionally divided into three age categories:
– kids below 8 years old;
– 8 years old to adolescence;
Kids below 8 years old
Children are very perceptive of energy around them. In case you are prone to tension, fears and anger, your kid will be the same. Besides, your kid imitates your behavior pattern all the time. If he sees you regularly sitting with your eyes closed, with calm and happy expression on your face, he will instinctively want to do the same, regardless of whether he understands the real purpose of doing so. At this age there is no point in explaining the usefulness of meditation to your kid. Just make it a nice and natural part of your everyday life. The most important thing is not to try and impose meditation on your kid and don’t push him to do it. Your child should never think of mediation as of punishment.
When it comes to small kids the best option is to make your little one’s imagination work. For example, you can say “Let’s imagine we’re statues. We will sit motionless until I say “Statue, bend your elbows”. Then we will keep sitting motionless until I say “Statue, bend your knees”. And then we’ll sit motionless some more”. You can continue this game until you mention all your body joints (or until your kid loses interest). This way your little one will learn to be more aware of his body. Let him suggest some movements too after you spend some time sitting motionless (it would be especially great if he’s learning to count).
Even small kids can stay motionless with their eyes closed during several minutes. Lots of martial arts teachers can confirm that their youngest students take part in collective meditations that may take 5 to 15 minutes. And however surprising it may seem to you, even five year olds can stay as calm as their older peers. At home you can use controlled meditation — once again, by using your kid’s imagination to help him focus on a certain theme. For example, you can ask your child to close his eyes and try to picture his grandma or granddad’s face or some fairy-tale scene. And while on a vacation he can build pyramids of stones and sand on the beach: that’s a fun way to meditate for kids of all ages.
When it comes to children remember that quality is better than quantity. Kids are very active and curious little ones; they are not created to sit motionless in one place for a long time. Instead, just try to teach your child how to live in the here and now. We tend to lose this important ability as we grow up, so teach your kid to cherish this ability to make his future life much more full.
8 years old to adolescence
Meditation helps older kids to get prepared for emotional and physical changes that come with adolescence. Self-awareness helps them make a right choice, self-control helps being confident, and the ability to focus on the most important things helps them study better.
Meditation doesn’t necessarily have to be done while sitting. Your kid can meditate while moving — for example, while doing yoga. “Greeting the Sun” (one of the yoga poses) helps balancing the life-force energy (Chi energy). At this period meditation will help your kid make a balanced and controlled transition from childhood to adolescence.
What’s more, this age is great for getting your child acquainted with mantra meditation which helps developing the ability to focus and affects brain development in the most positive way. There are lots of online and offline resources dedicated to mantra meditation but in fact, you can make your own mantras using words and sounds that really appeal to you and which you think might appeal to your child. Sure, Om is a classic mantra. Kids love pronouncing mantras because they tickle their throats and they like experimenting with various sounds.
8-12 year olds can spend more time meditating but once again, never push them to do it. Help them develop their ability to relax, calm down and clear their consciousness by being an example; just meditate in their presence.
Teenagers can meditate as much as adults. They start understanding the deeper aspects of meditation, such as self-consciousness and the difference between brain and consciousness. They can really understand the possibility of releasing themselves of stress when meditating daily. Teenagers get depressed quite often; many of them suffer from very low self-esteem. Meditation helps them in developing self-command and confidence. By mediating teenagers can get rid of stressful emotions and relax during exam periods, concentrate better during their studies, be more attentive to their environment and others and also become more self-aware.
A teenager would most likely prefer meditating on his own, unless collective meditations are traditional in your family. Your teenager will sure like it if he gets his own place for meditating with all special attributes like incense and artwork that would create some unique relaxing atmosphere. If he has his own meditation nook in his room (furnished with a special pillow maybe) he will do his daily meditation much more willingly.
Teenager will also love meditation sessions when they can be alone and relax completely. Some will like full 30 minute tracks but if time is an issue, short 15 minute tracks will do.
Meditation is something that kid of any age can enjoy. There aren’t too young or too old ones for meditation; just bear in mind all age peculiarities and enjoy!
Sometimes teachers do some meditation with their students at school starting from the 1st grade. As a result, ten year olds can meditate better than their parents. And what’s the most important, with the help of meditation these kids learn how to avoid any conflicts or arguments.