Written by Ambili Kartha
Meditation, the ancient method of connecting one’s soul with the god originates from the Upanishads. Meditation has been a part of worshipping in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism since the beginning. But it is only in recent times that the Western world has come to understand the therapeutic effect of meditation on the mind, body, and personality. You may have heard of adults doing meditation for better concentration or you try it yourself. But have you ever wondered what would happen if you introduced meditation to your kid? An introduction to meditation for kids can shape their lives in an entirely different way.
Meditation can bring calmness to their mind which can help them to focus on anything they are doing. Meditation before bed can ensure peaceful sleep and a stress-free mind. So the earlier you create the habit of meditation in your kid the better. Here is a low down on how you can introduce meditation to your child and some meditation methods and techniques to help them.
In This Article
Kids are restless. You cannot expect them to sit for meditation for a long time as adults do. Forcing them to meditate against their will can also lead to negative results. So you will need to know what sort of meditations will be fit for your kid according to their age. Here we have some suggestions;
You can try meditations with some sort of movements involved; such as breathe-in and breathe-out techniques with a toddler. They will be thrilled to notice how their chest goes up and down with deep breaths in and out. With this technique, you can make your toddler sit and focus for one to two minutes at least.
The entire world of your kid revolves around you. He/she will try to imitate whatever you do. Thus it will be best to sit and meditate before your kid to make them do the same. Try sitting cross-legged and eyes closed creating a humming or buzzing sound “Om” from the vocals. You will notice that your kid is also imitating you.
You can also try Surya Namaskara or the Sun Salutation Pose with your preschooler. Sun is the source of all energy and life itself. Thus through Surya Namaskara, we show gratitude to the sun god. There are multiple asanas involved in Surya Namaskara. But you can start simply by arranging both the palms of your kid together for bowing down in front of the sun. This will also develop the good habit of waking up early in the morning. Thus early morning meditation will prepare your kid for the days when they have to rise early to go to school.
You can gradually increase the time and complexity of meditations as your kid gets bigger. Pranayam can be a great method of meditation that can improve lung functions, sleep quality, cognitive performance and mindfulness.
Yes, meditation can help your child to focus and concentrate more on not only studies but also whatever they are doing. A study by Giuseppe Pagnoni points out that meditation improves cognitive performance in children by increasing mental focus. The study also found that the stability of the ventral posterior medial cortex (VPMC) is more stable in persons who meditate than in persons who do not. This means meditators can easily help to achieve calmness of mind and focus on work.
The duration of meditation will depend on the age and patience of your kid. For toddlers, 30 to 60 seconds of meditation in intervals will be enough. For preschoolers, you can extend the duration for up to 2 to 3 minutes. And bigger kids can meditate with concentration for 3 to 10 minutes. Do not force your kid to sit for a long time against their will. The love for meditation will naturally grow in them and they will enjoy it gradually.
Yes, there are specific meditations that can relax the body and mind of your little one. Some of the meditation exercises for promoting relaxation in children are;
Today even kids are also stressed by the rapid rate of competition. They also suffer a lot to control their emotions. So, if you feel your kid is getting more rude or nagging about everything or taking too much pressure from studies then try meditation. According to a report published in Frontiers, Meditation acts against stress and helps children to control their negative emotions such as fear, hatred, jealousy, and anger.
Your kid will fall in love with regular meditation if you know how to make it fun and engaging. To make meditation time more fun and enjoyable you can follow some tricks such as;
So early introduction of meditation to kids is only going to be beneficial for their life. With the calmness and clarity of mind gained from meditations, they will then counter any difficulty they face in life. But only teaching your kid will not be fruitful if you do not follow the rules. So make meditations a regular family habit.
Yes, there are various guided meditation resources available for children. Multiple apps can give short and simple instructions to your kid to follow the meditation process. Also, some books can help you instruct meditation to your kid.
As a parent, you can support your kid in meditation by creating a calm atmosphere while they meditate. You can choose a place where there is less noise, enough light, and free air. You can play meditation-friendly music to help them relax.
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