You’ve heard of meditation for adults, but did you know that kids as young as 2 years old can benefit from meditation and the peace of mind it brings? Incorporate meditation into your child’s daily routine and they will learn to tap into this valuable skill instantly whenever needed.
Now Cow in Kelly Caleb’s books knows the benefit of meditation and likes to teach her friends and children how to meditate to achieve balance and peace. You can teach your children meditation, too.
9 Benefits of Meditation for Kids
Better academic performance
Reduced stress and anxiety
Stronger mental resilience
Increased focus and prolonged attention span
Increased self-awareness and empathy
Improved emotional regulation
Improved working memory
Begin your meditation time with your child by doing 30 seconds of intense exercise. You can dance, wiggle, or jump up and down. Anything to get the silliness out and get them ready to focus. Then get comfortable.
If sitting cross-legged with hands on knees is comfortable, by all means, sit that way. However, if they prefer to lie on their back, let them do that. Whatever position is comfortable for them will work best.
Meditation can begin by spending 30 seconds focusing on breathing. Have your child focus on the feeling of their breath coming in and going out of their body. Encourage them to place one hand on their belly and one on their chest and feel the rise and fall as they breathe.
You can also count to 4 as they inhale, hold their breath to the count of 2, and exhale to the count of 6. This helps them focus on their breathing. After 30 seconds, ask them how they felt.
Increase the time spent focusing on their breath each day until they are able to focus on breathing for 10 minutes.
Another simple technique to allow your child to focus on their body as they relax is body scanning along with progressive muscle relaxation. This is best done by lying next to your child, both on your back with your arms down to your sides and with your eyes closed.
Start by talking about the feeling at the tops of your heads. Ask if they feel any tightness or squeezing at the top of their head. Then have them picture the tightness melting away like ice until their head is entirely relaxed.
Moving down the body, do the same with the forehead, the nose, the mouth, the chin, the neck, the shoulders, and on down the body, until every muscle is completely relaxed.
You can also choose to have the child squeeze each muscle first as you discuss it. This helps them feel the difference between a tight and a relaxed muscle.
Meditation and Mindfulness for Children
Don’t be frustrated if it takes a while for your child to learn meditation. It is a natural process that is already within their capabilities, but it can take a while for them to learn to capture it and quiet their minds to do it for more than 30 seconds or a minute. With consistent practice, they will be able to call upon a meditative mindset whenever it is needed.
Always stay positive about their efforts and try again the next day. They will be experts in no time. In the meantime, reading them books like the Now Cow series and similar books will help them relate to fun characters that enjoy meditation.
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