In this article, we will delve into the topic of meditation and mindfulness for kids. Meditation is an ancient practice which can be explored in various styles and with varied intentions. Essentially, it involves cultivating a state of focused presence, a state of relaxation and mental clarity. Meditation usually involves elements such as stillness, breathing techniques and visualization. Guided meditation can often include the use of a mantra or sound healing frequencies. In recent years the effects and benefits of meditation have been more widely researched and accepted. It seems that the topic of meditation for kids is still being explored further. Meditation has been integrated into some holistic parenting methods as more research and evidence surfaces through experiences and experimentation. Meditation and mindfulness practice for kids is even being introduced at a grassroots level into some progressive schooling systems. The content of this article aims to provide you with a holistic view on meditation for kids as well as some methods to make use of this practice within your mindful parenting.
Is meditation beneficial for kids?
When enquiring whether meditation is beneficial for kids we can explore the question at hand with a balanced approached. One viewpoint which we can consider is that meditation may be unnecessary for very young children as in their most optimal natural state they are often already aligned, joyful and vital. Young children can be full of energy and it may be that meditation or certain forms of meditation simply don’t fit certain children’s personality or learning styles. It will be best to be observant, intuitive and informed about your child’s personality as you may find that formal or known meditation methods are not what your child needs .You can then look into many other natural therapies or physical activities to benefit your child’s mental and physical wellbeing.
That being said, there is more research emerging that suggests the many ways in which meditation can be beneficial for kids. It is realistic to admit that these young humans are often constantly subjected to an influx of outside stimulus that affects their physical and mental wellbeing. Meditation can be a tool that assists to balance this as well as being an empowering tool that children can evolve with as they grow. To have access to meditation can help them to sovereignly ground and their align energy whenever needed.
Below are some of the most known benefits of meditation for both kids and adults (we all have our inner child to care for as well)
Calming and relaxation benefits
Meditation is a time of quiet focus which can allow us to empty our minds of non-beneficial thoughts and bring awareness to the present moment. The experience of presence, complete focus on the now moment, allows for a feeling of calm. Deep breathing, sound healing frequencies and visualization techniques can be used during mediation to intentionally relax the entire body both physically and energetically.
Emotional regulation and emotional intelligence
As meditation allows us to eliminate or curate external stimulus, deeply and calmly focusing on our inner worlds can offer a time of true introspection. During this time we can acknowledge, process and release any emotions that are coming up for us and learn how to meet our own emotional and energetic needs with love. Breathing techniques used within meditation are a great tool of emotional release and alignment. Being in touch with our emotions can improve emotional intelligence and empathy in general.
Building of focus, training the brain with beneficial habits and patterns
Taking the time to meditate regularly can assist with teaching our brains and energy how to focus. Along with relaxation, focus is a core element of a strong meditation practice and it is a skill that can be beneficial in almost all other daily activities. The meditative space of focus is also an optimal time to program the brain with other beneficial thought forms and intentions as it is a potent state of deep subconscious receptivity. Learning the art of concentration and focus at an early age will most definitely be beneficial to children throughout their lives.
Maintaining general good health
Meditation can put the body in a state of relaxation which is the best state for deep healing. A regular intentional meditation practice can help ensure that the body heals more easily and stays healthy. Meditation can intentionally be used to balance the chakra system; each chakra is a vital part of our energy body that directly corresponds with the organs that make up our physical body system. Balancing the energy system through meditation therefore also helps balance the physical body. An important element of meditation which is deep breathing can have amazing physical health benefits as it oxygenates the body and also stimulates the release of beneficial mood-enhancing neurotransmitters within the body. Sound healing utilized during meditation can also have a positive impact on energetic and physical health.
Intentional meditation for kids
Now that we are aware of some of the benefits that a meditation practice can have, it is worth looking at meditation as a therapy for children who are in need of healing.
Meditation can assist children with healing on both an energetic and physical level.
Meditation can help with the effects of trauma and grief
Intentional and guided meditation can help children cope and heal from trauma and grief due to the energetic healing and emotional regulation benefits its effects.
Meditation can help kids who struggle with stress and anxiety
Meditation can help kids to cope with these experiences through relaxation and emotional regulation as well as through physical health benefits which balance the hormone system.
Meditation can benefit kids with ADHD
Mediation can assist with the effects of this through improving focus, calming and emotional regulation.
Meditation can benefit extra sensitive and empathetic children to cope with emotions
Meditation can provide these children with an easily accessible method to safely regulate their own emotions and energy in a chaotic world.
Meditation can benefit kids with sleep troubles
Sleep meditation for kids before bedtime can foster the state of deep relaxation and calm which can help improve quality of sleep.
Ways to introduce a mindfulness meditation practice to your kids
These are some suggestions of how you can approach integrating a mediation or mindfulness practice into your mindful parenting. While teaching your child how to meditate consider this information and also consult your intuition and further research to discover the unique ways that resonate with your child’s specific needs.
Below are some elements to consider to get started:
The age of your child
At different ages, meditation practice will take on different intensities. For very young children it is best to start with very short periods of focus time and you can increase the duration of meditation time as your child gets acquainted with the practice. At the level of your child’s understanding, you can share your intentions and the ways that meditation may help them with their specific needs.
Simply focusing completely on the breath is a great way to introduce meditation to young children. Deep breathwork alone can induce the meditative experiences of presence and focus. You can guide your child through a breathing exercise or simply get the child to focus on their natural breathing rhythm. For younger children consider doing the breathing exercises in a group or unison.
You can create a special sacred space dedicated to meditation, try to make sure it is quiet and you can put off the lights to reduce stimulus. If you feel inclined to you can set up crystals or special objects, maybe a specific mat that your child will associate with intentional meditation time. You can also decide to assist your child with engaging in meditation in a serene natural environment.
A great way for beginners to get acquainted with meditation is through guided meditations which allow you to relax or set specific intentions depending on your needs. While learning, children would benefit from being guided through simple visualizations; you can facilitate this yourself, work with a meditation guide or make use of the vast amount of audio resources available online.
Sound healing is an amazing element to utilize in your child’s meditation practice. Sound has such potent healing abilities and it a way to tune energy without necessarily using words. Specific frequencies of sound can be played to achieve various levels of intentional healing and focus in meditation. There are so many valuable compilations of sound healing specifically designed for use in meditation. You can find an archive of freely available meditation music tracks on the Music of Wisdom YouTube channel and on this website!
Most importantly enjoy being fully present to your child and proud to consciously impart mindfulness practices that you know will benefit them in their development and experiences throughout life. Gift them these tools that can empower them to know and embody exactly who they are. Remind yourself that each child is a unique blessing; your child may love or dislike meditation or certain practice, find what works and feels good .It would be best to be very patient and graceful with them through their journey of learning.
__ Written by Music Of Wisdom team