Click above to watch my VLOG – How To Practice Meditation With Kids. Or, feel free to read the transcript below instead!
Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Our topic for today is How To Practice Meditation With Kids and how to teach meditation to kids at any age.
To start off this very important topic, I want to first give you a couple of items of research. One is from the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. It found that an estimated two million more children in the United States were diagnosed with ADHD between 2003 and 2012.
In addition, one million more children are now taking medication for it. Most of the diagnoses start before the age of six.
Now, a study done at the National Therapies Meditation Research Unit in the Royal Hospital for Women in Australia showed improvements in ADHD symptoms with children who were taught to meditate. The children reported improved attention spans and less hyperactivity.
Benefits of Meditation for Kids
This is one of the many reasons to share meditation with your children. Meditation fosters a sense of confidence, love, and of self. It hones the skills of being able to focus and skills of willpower. Teaching us to be more peaceful and more in tune with our bodies.
These are incredible life skills to teach your children. They can use mediation to abate stress and anxiety from school, peer pressure, and social media. I can’t say enough about the benefits of sharing meditation with your children.
My Personal Experience
Bubby has been mediating with me, in a way, since he was born. I meditated with him all the time while I was nursing. We go to a meditation center every week called Lake Shrine. It’s part of the Self-Realization Fellowship.
We meditate at home. He puts his little hands together, sometimes he scrunches his eyes. Is it the deepest meditation now when he’s just a little, tiny kid? Maybe not, but he’s learning the practice and the rhythm. He’s learning this as a tool and that it’s part of our family rhythm.
Whether you have a very small child or a teenager in high school or college, it’s okay at any age to start doing it as a family. It’s a really beautiful practice to cultivate health and peace and joy within the whole family.
I want to give you a couple of tips for this, for teaching meditation techniques to your kids at any age.
Meditation Tip #1: Meditating Role Model
Number one, be their meditating role model. Kids will mimic behavior. It’s just like you want them to read books. You read the books, but they need to see you reading as well.
If you want them to meditate and be exposed to this amazing life-changing practice, you also have to be a meditator. This is great because it means as a family it will help you be more motivated to stick with it. To practice it. So make sure that you are also meditating.
Meditation Tip #2: Keeping it Short and Simple
Next, keep it short and simple. We want memories of mediation to be positive, not, “Oh, mama and dada made me sit and it was boring.” We want it to be positive. A one-minute is usually a pretty good amount per year of age.
If they’re five, up to a five-minute meditation. That may even be too much. Maybe three minutes or up to five. Keep it short and positive. We can build over time.
Meditation Tip #3: Playing the Silence Game
Tip number three, practice the silence game. We all know kids love games. Make it fun and challenging. Use whatever language your kids speak around games and more of a playful quality. That could be an element to add to your meditation.
Just because meditation is life-changing does not mean it has to be serious and dour. There is a lightness and a love. There’s this incredible energy that comes from meditation. You can make it fun for your kids as well.
Meditation Tip #4: Singing and Chanting
The next tip is number four, to sing and chant together. Kids love to sing. You can teach them some simple chants around meditation. Shown through yogic philosophy, to be very powerful vibrations that change the way we feel in our bodies, in our beings.
These mantras, these sounds, carry a healing vibration. That can be part of your practice as well. There are some incredible chants out there. You can do some online research. Chanting is also said to improve focus, concentration, and has powerful effects on brain development.
Meditation Tip #5: Self-massage
Fifth, it might be a good idea to do a little stretch or a little bit of a self-massage to help your kids come into their bodies, into the here and now.
Take a couple of deep breaths. Touching the body physically can help get us out of our heads. To get out of dreamland or imagination land, and into the body.
A couple of little stretches can allow them to sit longer. This is the purpose of the yoga asanas. Yoga poses true intention is to help you sit in meditation. They are not the end goals in and of themselves.
To sum up, our five meditation techniques for practicing mediation with kids is, number one, be their meditation role model. Number two, keep it short and simple. Three, practice the silent game, keep it fun.
The fourth tip, do some singing and chants together. And finally, number five, do a stretch, breath, get into your body, a little self-massage. Bring the physicality of it into space first before you go up.
If you’re interested in some led meditations you want to do with your kids, remember, we always have our free meditations for you guys as an offering. Or you can find any meditation that works, that resonates with you, and you can practice it as a family.
Thank you so much for being in our community. I am so grateful for you. Sending you so much love. I will see you back here soon.