Updated: Dec 6, 2019
You may think that starting a meditation with children would not be the easiest thing to do. Maybe not if you are wanting them to sit there for 45 minutes in the zone. But if we take the expectations away it is quite easy.
Children love watching what we do. They like to mimic us. Have you ever heard them talking on the pretend phone. You can pretty much hear yourself in the phone call. Am I right?
Developing a Meditation practice yourself and having your child join you on your lap is a way to start to expose them to meditation. They will watch you a more than likely copy you movements (or non movement) Children love to be guided. They love to do what you do. So starting a practice yourself is the first way to open them up to it.
It is as simple as lying with your child while putting them to bed and breathing in and out and getting them to do the same with you. Breath in breath out. It can be part of the bedtime routine.
You can encourage your child to breathe deeply when they are feeling frustrated, anxious, stressed or overwhelmed. You know the signs of your child and you can offer them to take a deep breath in to allow that to settle.
Mindful meditation can be as simple as lying on the floor (or bed) in a quiet space, popping a teddy on your child's belly and getting them to watch as it rises and falls with each breath. It is having the child focus on the breath. Focused on the teddy. This is meditating.
Another way is to go for a walk in the garden. Point out the things you see and get the child to point out what it is they notice. What then do they hear? What can they smell? What do different things feel like? How do your feet feel against the ground. Is it hard or soft?
This is called Mindful walking or Walking meditation.
Where do I start.
Meditation is a tool to help rest the mind and the body. To calm and to centre. Calms the Central Nervous System and lessens the stress hormones in the body. It has also been known to help with immune function.
A number of studies in school settings also show improved attention and behavior. Some research has shown benefits for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, school performance, sleep, behavior problems, and eating disorders. For example, a trial of 300 low-income, minority urban middle-schoolers using school-based mindfulness instruction led to improved psychological functioning and lower levels of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. - https://www.healthychildren.org
Other benefits are:
Become more aware of emotions and how to manage them in an appropriate way.
Enhances Focus and Clarity.
Boosts Confidence and self esteem
Fosters Compassion and empathy
For other benefits on mindfulness check out the link below