Meditation is a wellness exercise. In the words of Catherine Wilde, “Meditation is the process of turning inward, calming the mind, and practising patience.” It can calm us down at the most anxious of times and improves our wellbeing. Meditation provides us with physical relaxation along with mental relaxation and enhances our health. Meditation can have great healing effects for kids too, the only tricky part is getting them to practice this art of mindfulness.
As a wellness exercise, meditation does work very well for the human body. It’s the same for children.
According to the noted psychologist Murray, kids start paying attention to the elements of a story starting from 3-4 years of age. This is what, Murray says, paves the way to a guided meditation.
Another eminent psychologist Dr Bryan Bruno states that “Meditation is one of the healthiest activities that a parent can do with their child.” Studies indicate that mindfulness meditation for kids helps with increased processing of information by their developing parietal lobes. This leads to an increased ability to stay focused and build self-control. Meditation for children also helps with better coping strategies, emotional regulation and better relationships. Mindfulness meditation also results in reduced risks of being exposed to anxiety, depression and stress in the future.
Here is a brief list stating the importance of meditation for children
Yes, mediation for toddlers is a thing. But they are just too young to learn. But as we all know it, nothing is impossible. Toddlers too can be taught the art of meditation, given that they are willing to learn.
In the words of Muray, meditation for them is like ‘mindful movement’. Meditation for toddlers focuses on making them aware of their and its parts body rather than teaching them breathing exercises or anything as such. You can make them talk about what makes them feel happy and where, as in which part of the body. You can also ask them to think about unhappiness and identify the parts of the body where they feel unhappy. You can also try playing sounds that your kid enjoys so that their breath stays regulated as they focus on their favourite groove.
But it’s fine if it does work. After all, they are stool too young to learn.
Teaching kids or toddlers to meditate is no easy job. It’s hard, definitely hard, but not impossible. But mind you, make sure that sure talked to your child about it and are taking in their voluntary participation.
So, how to teach meditation to a child?
Here are some brief pointers that can help you, in case you are struggling with the same.
But most importantly, do it all only if your kid is interested. Because, if forced, meditation can do no wonders for your child.