Introducing Your Child to Meditation - Why & How?
Thinking of Introducing Your Child to Meditation?
First of all it is interesting to note that a child's mind is quite often in a 'daydream' like state when they are young. Studies have shown that children's brainwaves operate within the 'Alpha' realm more often than most adults. This is very interesting and it is easy to see why as they are generally very creative, absorbing to new things around them, and very impressionable. So meditation for children is (in our opinion) a lot easier for them to learn and practice than for us adults especially who have not done it before.
With meditation being the act of focusing on one thought or thing and entering into a relaxed state of mind - this really is a very positive thing for any child to learn and practice. Especially for children that are restless, 'naughty', or especially over-active. Learning how to meditate or simply listening to a meditation audio program on a regular basis, can really help them on a number of different levels:
- Promotes more composure over thought and action
- Helps get a good night's sleep by being used to 'calming the mind'
- Gives them more emotional control especially in stressful situations
- Helps them have the right approach to learning new things better
- Ensures a healthy mind, healthy body, and overall general wellbeing
Really this list can go on forever as there are so many different benefits...
Meditation & A Child's Imagination
Children are obviously very imaginative. Their young minds are able to conjure ideas in a way most adults simply cannot do. Using this with the practice of meditation can work in 2 completely different ways:
1. Helping switch of an overly active imagination or excessive thinking (mind-chatter).
Particularly if your child's imagination is causing them problems like learning problems, behavioral issues etc., meditation can really help them control over-active thoughts. The simple act of daily meditation will teach them how to direct their imagination and thoughts in a more positive direction can have immense benefits.
2. Using their imagination during a 'purposeful guided meditation' to help make positive changes.
Children have a way of really immersing themselves into a story and applying what they experience in a way that is unique to them. Their imagination is able to place them as a character or an observer in a story and really become part of it. This trait is especially useful if you wish to use meditation as a way of helping them deal with certain situations or to help them through an issue. Using a metaphorical storyline during a guided meditation, you can really help introduce children to new ideas or ways of thinking about something by making what you want them to achieve as part of the story. For example you might help them with a confidence problem by incorporating a story about a super hero who overcame a problem by finding a special solution. Through their imagination, and ability to absorb new things, children especially will put this information into practice in their own way when you guide them through such a meditation. Adults can do the same too obviously, but children especially are more open to using their imagination than we are.
Some Ways to Introduce Your Child to Meditation
In their bedtime story:
Effectively a bedtime story is very similar to a guided meditation. It helps children switch off excessive thoughts, become immersed in a story, and reach a nice state of relaxation ready for sleep. Any parent can incorporate some guided meditation techniques into their nightly bedtime story routine to help introduce them to meditation if desired. Start/direct the story with some simple instructions like, "Now just begin to feel nice and calm and relaxed" or "As you listen now you can begin to switch off to other sounds and listen to me now" etc... - then continue with the story. This teaches the child to learn how to 'switch off' and try to focus on one thing. It also helps them get used to the process of meditating.
Incorporating use of guided meditation audio:
We have many meditation programs available on our website for sale here - and the use of these for your child is a very easy way to introduce them to practicing meditation. It is very simple really - just get them in a routine before bed or in quiet times during the day of where they lie down and listen to the recordings through a stereo. These are all guided or have music that will really help them switch off and begin to getting used to just being in that nice state of meditation.
Yoga/Meditation Classes for children:
In recent times there have been many places that setup special children's yoga or meditation classes. These are a great way to bring your child along, meet new friends, and have expert instructors guide them through the process. They will show them things like breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, and how to focus on one thing at a time etc. You can 'google' for one near you if you are interested in this.
There are many resources on the internet for finding out more about meditation for children. One particularly good resource is this Facebook page here - Teach Children Meditation campaign. We are not affiliated with this site, we just think they are doing a good job raising awareness and providing a lot of useful resources for children.
Additionally you may want to have a look at some of the children specific meditation CD/MP3 programs that we sell on our site like...
Happy meditating and we hope this article has helped shed some light for you on this subject!