In a world of sensory overload and school, family and internal pressures, kids need meditation as much as adults.
It’s the dream of many parents to be able to calm down their kids, teach them how to manage themselves, and see them grow into happy, healthy and fulfilled individuals. While there are many challenges in this process, meditation can definitely be a powerful tool to make this happen.
Meditation can have great benefit for kids, like:
- better behavior
- less ADHD
- students are more focused and settled
- better school performance
- less stress and depression
- improved psychological well-being
The most important thing when teaching kids to meditate is to present the practices in an interesting, fun, and engaging way. Never allow it to become boring for them. Make it feel like a pleasant activity—like play—and the kids will want to do it again. Therefore, keep the sessions short and sweet, roughly your child’s age +1min (ie. with an 8 year old child, the meditation session should be 9min max)
Start with a night time mediation routine, before introducing mediation to other times in your kids day.
Here is a simple night time meditation example:
Tonight let’s go to a magical place with our imagination. Just close your eyes and allow your body to begin to relax. We’re going to a cozy castle high in the clouds. This is a special, magical castle… where dreams come true…. where we can relax and just enjoy peaceful, cozy moments.
Imagine now floating comfortably on a soft white cloud. It feels so good just to rest and relax here. When you’re ready, imagine that the cloud brings you to the entrance of a beautiful castle. This is the Castle in the Clouds. Step inside. The only sound is the soothing crackling sound of fire in the fire places. It warms the castle and you feel so comfortable and good here. There is a feeling of happiness and goodness in this place. The whole castle is filled with the relaxing smell of lavender and it calms you even more. You feel lucky to be here and experience the warmth and peace in this place.
Now, walk down the halls of this special castle. Notice one door that seems to invite you inside. A feeling of welcome washes over you. Peek into the room and see your own name above a very soft pillowy bed. The bed must be magical because as soon you sit down on it… it welcomes you to fall back into it and just relax all your worries away…. You cannot think of anything else right now except how wonderful and peaceful it feels here… how good you feel inside. You know this is your special place and you can come here whenever you want, just by thinking about it.
You feel all the stress and worry leave your body immediately… Calm, tranquil feelings wash over
you. This is your place of peace. You know that no matter what is happening around you, you are welcome here to relax and feel peace.
Look up now and notice a beautiful brilliant star visible in the heavens, then another, then another. You realize you are lying on a soft bed now under the open sky. Soon the velvety black sky is completely lit with shining stars like diamonds. The view is so beautiful and serene that you can’t take your eyes off the stars.
You might feel an urge to stretch your hand and touch the sky. Give it a try – who knows what can happen in a magical castle. As you stretch out your hand, to your amazement you can actually touch the stars. Choose a star and simply pluck it out of the sky – it’s OK. Now you see some writing on the star as you look closer. It has your name on it. It mentions a time when you were a little nervous about something, or felt stressed by a situation, but instead you choose to face your fear and handled the situation bravely. The star you hold in your hand was created to honor your achievement.
A warm rush of happiness and pride overwhelms you. All these stars are your achievements! You study the whole sky carefully. So many stars, so many achievements! You promise yourself that you will continue to work hard to get these stars of glory in the sky of your heart.
Feeling immense feelings of peace, calm and happiness filling up your heart and soul, you peacefully carry on with your sleep tonight.
For more kids meditation examples, and other mindfulness activities for your little ones, check out the following books:
Sitting still like a frog – Eline Snel
50 Mindfulness Activities – Whitney Stuart and Mina Braun
Meditation Is an Open Sky – Whitney Stuart and Sally Rippin
Just Breathe – Malinka Chopra
Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing – Christopher Willard and Daniel Rechtschaffen