Child Friendly Meditation for Your Kids
When most of us picture meditation, it doesn’t involve children. Perhaps it’s time for that image to change. For those who have practiced meditation for any length of time, the benefits to health and wellbeing become obvious. What all parents and educators want for their children’s social, emotional, and physical health is also accessible through meditation.
The Benefits of Meditation for Kids
There are now countless studies that show the positive impact of mindfulness and meditation on a person’s health and wellbeing. What we’re finding is that these benefits aren’t limited to adults! Through meditation, children learn some valuable social and emotional skills that can help them in school and many life situations.
Meditation teaches children to become aware of their own bodies, including how they react to stress. They learn self-regulation, which is the ability to calm themselves in stressful situations. Children can learn to focus and increase their level of concentration through meditation, which can help with ADHD symptoms and hyperactive behavior. Meditation also teaches respect, empathy, and encourages creativity.
Child Friendly Meditation for Kids
It might sound as if having your child sit down for a meditation session will be challenging, but there are some child-friendly meditations for kids that make the practice more interesting and enjoyable for all involved. If you want to try a child-friendly meditation at home, set aside just five to ten minutes for one of these simple exercises.
- Balloon Guided Meditation.Children either seated or standing learn deep breathing by visualizing a balloon. The child takes a slow, deep breath to fill up their body and lungs with air as if filling a balloon. Then, they slowly let the air out through their nose as they release the tension and breath from the body.
- Follow the Leader.This meditation is best for children ages five years and older. Children are asked to visualize their sibling or best friend and then pick a leader. The leader is the breath, and the follower is the mind. As they breathe in, their mind follows and focuses on the breath. Once this is established, you can begin counting between breaths and exhales.
- Guided Relaxation.Guided meditation is a common form of meditation that also works well with children. Have children get comfortable and then begin to take them through each body part as you tighten a hand or foot and then relax it to feel the tension melt away.
Meditation is also useful in school settings, and programs are showing an increase in adoption rates nationwide. Mindfulness and social-emotional learning (SEL) have been shown to reduce the rates of both disciplinary incidents and student suspensions in schools where adopted and embraced as a curricular program. Whether you choose to do meditation with children at home, in school, or both, the benefits of meditation for kids are worth the time investment.