I would like my avid readers to know that I meditate daily. Though my post is about Meditation Benefits for Children, Meditation helps adults in their life too! Some people might visualise meditation as an exercise only performed by monks on mountains! But that’s not true! In my opinion, just as your body needs exercises and workouts in the same way your mind needs its workouts ! Meditation also helps you reconnect with your soul. It’s a “me time”. Children too have issues like adults but maybe they don’t realise! It’s only when they do tantrums or their behaviour changes drastically, parents get an inkling that the child has got some issues or problems.
Though meditation has got innumerable benefits- some are tangible some aren’t! In my opinion,here are few things that children might benefit from meditating:
Increases Attention Span
How many times have you asked your child to do something and they say “you never told me to do it!” . The other day my daughter walked straight into the door as her eyes were glued on the Television while walking towards the kitchen to drink water! You may have instances when your child’s Teacher may have complained that your child isn’t paying attention in the class(I would bet it was the Maths class!). If all of this is true for your child, try making them meditate!
A lot of children,especially during the school holidays are slouched on the sofa for hours watching television instead of playing. Even during Term time, they become lazy the moment they come home. Meditation gives a lot of mental and physical energy. It also makes the mind work more efficiently. It gets rid of the unnecessary “clutter”.
There is always some reason behind Tantrums in children. Children do not know how to express themselves so they do a tantrum. Meditation relaxes and calms the child and even in the future if they have any issues they would be able to deal with it better and therefore their tantrums will be much reduced !
Reduces Stress or Anxiety
Some children are very competitive and as result if their classmate is ahead of them in reading or mathematics- it creates a lot of stress in them, “Why is she able to this and not me?” Stress in children may also come from siblings – due to sibling fights etc. Meditation will help reduce or even eliminate the stress.
Improved Grades, Better Results Overall at School!
If children have got better attention or better focus- it follows that they would get better grades and better results overall in school. This will instill new confidence in themselves. Meditation also increases your self-confidence.
Helps Children Control Their Emotions
Meditation helps children control their emotions- be it tantrums as a child or emotional upheaval during puberty in teenagers. It also helps them overcome any frustration or fears. It also helps eliminate petty worries from their mind.
Helps Realise Their True Potential
Meditation de stresses and unclutters the mind. This brings clarity of thought and vision for the future. If children are encouraged to meditate at a young age, they would be able to clearly think for themselves what exactly they want to become in their lives when the time comes for them to decide.
Helps Overcome a Trauma or a Major Incident
Every parent would want the best and safest upbringing for their children. But certain incidents/accidents do happen which are beyond the control of parents. For instances, Parents divorcing, death of a parent or a sibling, children surviving car accidents or children having experienced sexual or physical assaults. The Doctors or Caregivers will recommend Counseling sessions for the child which can help upto a certain extent. But the emotional upheaval of these major incidents will be too much for a child. Meditation can help to reduce the trauma by making the child accept the situation and move on. They will never forget but perhaps the negativity associated with the incident might be eliminated or reduced to a considerable extent.
Live in the Present
One of the most beneficial aspects of meditation is that it enables you to live in the present. Whatever you are doing at this very moment, you will enjoy and be in that moment. If you are not enjoying your present, that is because you are worrying or thinking about things which either do not exist or have not happened or have happened in the past.
This will apply to both children and adults.
Having said all the above, parents can’t snap their fingers and make children meditate. The younger the children the easier it is to teach them to meditate. I prefer doing a non guided meditation –
- Sit down on the bed or on the floor with your back straight
- Close your eyes
- Breathe in and out slowly
With children, you have build it up slowly. I started with 1 minute for my children. The technique I used was simple. I told them “Let’s play a game. Let’s see who can sit still the longest ? Who can become a statue? Close your eyes. Breathe gently. No talking and no moving until the timer goes off.” I put on a timer of 1 minute on my Smart Phone. It went very well and both the kids sat throughout the minute. The next day I extended the meditation time to 2 minutes. From there on you would have to monitor how long your child can sit. Don’t do it for more than 5-10minutes. If you feel your child is struggling to sit,reduce the time a little. Most importantly, children always copy their parents. If they see you meditating, they will readily sit down with you to meditate when you tell them to do so.
The best practice would be for the whole family to sit together- Dad, Mum and all Children! Make sure you don’t make meditation feel like a time out session or like punishment or a chore! Remember parents also benefit from meditation!
If you would like to share your meditation experiences with your children please put them in the comment box below! I would love to hear from you!
All the Best,