Over the last few years, there’s been a real boom in the wellness and mindfulness space. More and more people are recognising the benefits of meditation and incorporating these practices into their daily lives. Many parents are now choosing to introduce their kids to meditation too, but what benefits could meditating hold for kids?
We’ll tell you all about it in our guide to meditating with your children.
What is meditation and why is meditation important?
Meditation is essentially about having self-awareness of both your body and mind. People have been practising meditation for thousands of years, and it’s generally considered a great, natural way to connect to ourselves and de-stress. It can also be very beneficial for understanding and regulating our emotions.
Relaxation for kids is just as important as it is for adults, and meditation is a fantastic way to encourage kids to connect to themselves and feel their feelings. Mindfulness in early years often carries on into later life. Part of teaching meditation, mindfulness and wellbeing practices to kids and teens is also about promoting self-love and acceptance – and this is very important as your child matures into a teen.
Meditation is about slowing down, noticing the little things in life and achieving mental clarity. Mindfulness is a meditation technique that has become increasingly popular over the last few years. 🌻
Is meditation good for kids?
Meditation can be very good for kids. Just like adults, kids need quiet time and space to themselves too. It’s important to take a moment to connect with yourself, centre your breathing and find calm in the middle of a busy day. 🧘
Parents can also use meditation for children's behaviour. For kids who are unusually sensitive or empathetic, meditation can be especially beneficial. Having some quiet time to reflect and connect to their bodies and minds is often important for these children, and can help build good mental health as the kids grow older. 🤍
Research indicates that there are several benefits to introducing kids to meditation and mindfulness in their early years. In fact, many schools across the UK have introduced mindfulness classes and similar exercises in order to promote good mental health among kids.
After just a few meditation sessions, many report seeing an improvement in the following areas of their life:
- Improved sleep
- Stress levels lowered
- Less anxious feelings
- Feeling more in touch with oneself
- Improved focus
How do I teach my child to meditate?
The best way to teach your kid to meditate is to do it with them, and try to tailor the experience to what they might enjoy. Kids learn a lot by observing what their parents and other adults do.
If you try to introduce your child to meditation and mindfulness and they don’t seem interested, it’s best not to push them to take part. Enjoy your meditation time, and communicate to your child that you are currently connecting with your body and mind. In all likelihood, they’ll see the importance of meditation in your life and want to try it out for themselves after seeing you model the behaviour. 🙌
When you’d like to introduce your child to meditation, we recommend that you start small. Focusing on each breath is a great place to start, and something kids can easily do. Moving on to focusing on how the body feels and trying to calm the mind is a great next step. Using a meditation app or mindfulness tool like Headspace could be a great idea when you’re trying to teach your child about meditation and mindfulness.
Keep in mind that this is not about forcing kids to sit still and meditate if they don’t want to – it’s about giving your child the tools to understand and connect to what they’re feeling inside. Meditation can help your child find calm within themselves, even on stressful or upsetting days – but their way of meditating might not be the same as yours.
If you’d like to help protect the mental health and wellbeing of your child, there are a lot of things you can do beyond meditation and mindfulness practices. Learning through art and play can boost kids’ emotional well-being, and focusing on happiness with your child can motivate them to learn too. 😊
How do you meditate with kids?
Meditating with kids is all about keeping things simple and allowing your child to find what works for them. Meditation for young children is often focused on calm and movement, while older kids can benefit from simple guided meditations.
Keep in mind that the way you tend to meditate may not work as well for your child. While adults tend to sit cross-legged with their hands on their lap or lay down with their arms at their sides during a meditation session, and generally stay still for the duration of the session, this may not come naturally to your child.
Allow your child to find their own style and focus when it comes to meditation. They may shift positions frequently, move their bodies or get up and run around for a little while – this doesn’t mean that they’re not experiencing the benefits of meditation, it just means that staying still often doesn’t come naturally to kids.
Accepting your child’s different style of meditation is key, and keep encouraging any practice that may promote health and wellbeing in your kid! 🌱