** Updated 2019 **
Meditation for kids is a very important human inner development for a child. If you’re a parent, you also want a happy and healthy life for your kids. Is that right? Just like adults, children also suffer from stress and pressure.
To give them a jumpstart on how to stay healthy and achieve a healthy body, you can start training them with meditation for kids.
Several studies have pointed out that those children, who meditate especially mindfulness meditation, develop positive traits and habits, exhibit more kindness to others and manage stress better than those who don’t. Meditation can also help children in managing and dealing with challenging conditions, including hyperactivity and depression.
What Is Meditation?
It’s a process teaching a set of principles or rules that let kids control their thoughts, focusing their concentration and mind on a single phrase or idea. For kids, things don’t have to be complicated, though.
In fact, an informal meditation, such as listening to heartbeat, they can understand more about themselves and their hearts.
How To Teach Guided Meditation For Kids?
Meditation for adults is different from that for kids because the latter have shorter attention span, not knowing how to sit still longer. They also learn by example and have a greater imagination. Kids also have a sense of playfulness. So how can you teach meditation to them?
Let Them Use Their Imagination And Visualize
You cannot expect children to understand concepts easily, especially the abstract ones. So instead of using such technique, you should appeal to their imagination and creativity.
In this manner, they will be more interested in the activity than not. You should not use abstract concepts when teaching meditation for children.
That is why if you want to achieve results from the training, you should always make the class more fun and interesting by appealing to their imagination.
For example, use the Buddha-Statue game when trying to teach kids with physical stillness. Tell them to count back from 100 to 1 and then tell them that whoever moves will lose the game.
Alternatively, you can create a special space at school/home, a space for meditation. Use weird and interesting objects and design to catch their attention. Tell them that whenever they enter this world, concentrate and meditate, they’ll feel happy.
Be Supportive And Flexible
Ask about how their meditation practice went and what they felt in it, furthering encouraging them to develop self-expression and self-awareness. You can validate whatever they share.
Accept what your child is saying even if you can hear some exaggerations. You should reaffirm everyone’s experiences in the activity to ensure that no kid is unhappy, lost or confused.
Do Not Attempt For A Long Meditation Class
Kids do not have that long attention span as adults do. For this reason, you should keep the session short depending on the age of your kid or student.
Teach Meditation By Example
You know so well that kids want to imitate adults – dress like an adult, talk like an adult or act like an adult. Teaching meditation is no different. You can teach them better if you would lead by example.
For example, instead of telling them to close their eyes and breathe deeply, show them how to do it. You must meditate and show how you’re incorporating it in your life.
In this manner, your kids or students will learn better by example. Be sure to lead by example and become an effective meditation teacher for them.
Make It Fun
Meditation has to be engaging and fun for kids, or else, they will easily get bored. You should present meditation in a more interesting and fun way, and don’t allow it to be boring. For kids, they will appreciate it if they would feel like playing than doing meditation.
Thus, you should also learn how to adapt the instructions that will be interesting for kids. In addition, you must work with their senses and keep the activity fun – every minute of it.
For example, if you want to teach deep breathing techniques to kids, you should instead ask them to place a toy on their bellies, not asking them to watch your breathe. Then, tell them to watch and observe as the toy is moving up and down, as he or she is breathing in and out.
Learn How To Deal With Your Expectations
You should manage your expectations because this practice is a process. Do not expect that kids will learn fast because learning takes some time. You must give him/her the tools to know how to manage their persons better, build strength and create a space of calm.
What Are The Benefits Of Meditation For Kids?
Teaching kids how to meditate, they can reap the following rewards from the activity. Check out the following for reasons to teach your children how to meditate.
Develop Mind Calmness
A tense mind cannot rest and tends to jump from one thought to the next, especially when stressed. If you’re noticing that your kids are drawn to technology more than you were when you’re still in your young, these kids are more challenged to respond quickly.
They also have the ability of taking information faster and playing games of imagination and speed. They also respond to online communication.
However, aside from these new world abilities, you would also want your kid to have the ability of turning his or her attention to one thing and focus on that. You would also want your kid to learn how to work on their homework to its completion.
If you want to teach kids that focus they need in their daily lives to become more productive in school, you can teach them meditation. You can help your kid develop mind calmness so that he can deal better with the demands of stress and tension through meditation that can help free his mind from distractions.
One of the benefits of guided meditation for kids is that it can give his mind a healthy rest and relaxation from that mind that jumps from one thought to the next. It will help them have a mind with clarity and focus.
If your kid is experiencing fear and frustration, you can help him free his mind from it by guided meditation. Experiencing these episodes in his life is common in his developmental stages.
Kids can have tears and tantrums but parents would like to help them get through these phases without them suffering from distress. For example, overcoming fear is another challenge for many kids while they’re developing and growing in a modern world.
They also suffer from the fear of rejection, such as not being accepted by other kids. Children may also have primal fears of losing a parent or a loved one.
These are only some challenges that growing children face. For this reason, they need emotional stability and courage, which you can help them develop through meditation.
Why teach them meditation for emotional stability? This practice will help them deal with their fears and frustrations as they’re growing up.
Teaching them how to meditate, they can also learn how to balance their system, especially when dealing with stress. In addition to supporting children’s emotional development, the activity can also calm their minds so that they can prevent being overwhelmed by negative thoughts and feelings.
As children are growing, they start recognizing what makes them feel happy and who they are becoming to be – and that’s self-awareness. They also learn how to look inside themselves – and that’s where meditation is needed.
Meditation can teach them how to look inside themselves and find out what they are interested to or passionate about as they’re growing up. The practice, when done consistently, can also teach kids on how they can follow their own judgment instead of following others.
With meditation, they can learn to become more aware of their reactions to stress, frustrations and fears and their bodies so that they will learn how to control both their physical and emotional condition. Self-regulation is a great skill to master because it will help them develop a more positive life outlook.
They will also learn how to trust themselves, gain self-confidence and develop positive thoughts. With constant practice of meditation, they can also reduce depression and stress.
It is another invaluable skill to posses, along with attention. Kids will learn reading better and have more focus on their studies. So without even saying, those who can practice meditation through a school’s meditation program can improve their behaviors and reduce inattentiveness.
Self-Esteem And Social Skills
If you want your kids to learn how to pay attention to their feelings, thoughts and emotions, you can teach them guided meditation for kids. The practice can help them become empathetic and compassionate towards the feelings of other people around them.
With more kindness, which meditation can help them generate, they also become better listeners. Studies had it that children develop their ability of empathizing on how others are feeling with constant meditation practice. They also learned how to respect other people. And with it, they also boosted their self-esteem.
Yes, children are naturally imaginative and creative, but then, many of them cannot generally tune in to their creative side. But with meditation, you can help your kid tap into his creative imagination.
In fact, Leiden University psychologists discovered that the participants performed better on activities requiring the generation of creative ideas after a short set of meditative exercises.
What Will Your Kids Gain From Meditation?
Adults or children suffer from unexpected twists and turns. Just like adults, children also experience stress, frustration and fear. For example, children have to study for difficult exams.
They also have to practice sports if they’re a part of a varsity team at school. Some of them also have to prepare for a quiz bee. But with meditation, they will learn how to control their thoughts and feelings and tune into their mind and body for a better self-control.
Aside from those already mentioned earlier, meditation for kids offer many amazing benefits that include the following.
Even kids suffer from rumbling thoughts’ their minds become restless from time to time. Many also suffer from negative energies and thoughts. Meditation can help them achieve an inner peace and a cleansed mind to dispel those fears and frustrations.
When trying to solve complex problems, children sometimes suffer from blocked thoughts. But with constant practice of meditation, children can deal better even with complex problems.
For example, when working with timetables, they can focus better so that the information can stay better in their minds and memory.
Improved Inner Happiness
Inner happiness is achieved if you would be able to follow your path and at the same time feel more confident in every choice you make because you believe it is the best6 for you. So if you’re having a happy heart, you can also spread the happiness and inspire other people.
Children can begin realizing what things are affecting their daily lives. With meditation, they learn how to connect with their consciousness, becoming more grounded and observant. They also become levelheaded as they develop into mature individuals.
The constant stimulation of the brain is one of the causes of insomnia. It is a concern in this modern society where many people suffer from sleepless nights due to a restless mind that won’t turn off at bedtime. It is too hard to wind down and relax at many times.
Even children can suffer from insomnia, and insomnia can help them relax and get better sleep. It can eliminate that mental clutter, which is one of the causes of insomnia.
Meditation isn’t an overnight activity for children, but it is a consistent daily practice that you have to teach them. You cannot expect them to feel or reap the benefits of meditation for children immediately.
However, with regular practice even in as little as five minutes daily, you can help bring many positive changes to their learning ability, memory, stress reduction and overall life quality. For the best results, you should be a role model – practice meditation for yourself, too.