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How can meditation help children

expert
Riya Sree Kaishyap
2 months ago
Mind Mind
2-4 2-4
Meditation for kids

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.

 

Meditation for children

Meditation for children

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

  • Meditation helps children to learn the core emotional regulation skills such as maintaining a proper breath rate, slowing down the heart rate, identifying symptoms of stress and other mental disorders and ensures the systematic functioning of the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Meditation also helps in increasing the child’s focusing skills. This helps a lot of kids struggling with ADHD, and also PTSD. This also helps to improve the children’s academic performance.
  • The calming techniques taught during meditation can help kids overcome problems related to anxiety, stress and other mental traumas that they might have to face later in life.
  • According to research, meditation for kids helps to refresh their brain. Meditation calms the brain down and can change the executive and emotional function of the brain. This helps kids to regulate their emotions and improve concentration.

 

Is meditation for toddlers a thing?

Meditation for toddlers

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.

 

How to teach meditation to a child?

Teach meditation to kids

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.

  • Start with explaining what meditation is. Skip the big fat words and stick to simple words like ‘calm’, ‘focus’ and ‘present’. You can also take help of animated videos from YouTube to get your child’s fixed attention on the topic.
  • Start with sorting out their preference. See how they can focus better- is it with guided meditation or silent meditation? In most cases, guided mediation works better for children, but preferences can always be different.
  • Combine stories with mindfulness meditation for kids. Make them imagine situations; take them into a distant imaginary place of their liking. Ask them to focus on what they see there.
  • Make a game out of the process. You can hold hearing contests like making kids listen to sounds while they are meditating. They can be asked to jot down what all sounds they heard during a 5-minute meditation session and the one with the most names on his list can be declared the winner of that round. Games like this make it easier for kids to focus on their breath.
  • Do it together. Plan out a few minutes from your daily routine to meditate together with your child. Remember, kids always tend to follow their parents, so if you keep up with it, they are most likely to do so too.

 

But most importantly, do it all only if your kid is interested. Because, if forced, meditation can do no wonders for your child.
 

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
TAGS
• Mind
• children
• Parenting
• meditation
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