1. Don’t overcomplicate it
Kids tend to live in the moment and not overthink things. It’s easy to lose their attention if you try to give them the history or rationale behind actions about what you’re about to do. For an adult, it might be important to know the context and to understand the philosophy behind meditation, but for a kid that will just seem hard and like a “grown-up thing”. When you’re trying to convince a kid to try meditation you’ll need to use other techniques.
As children are naturally curious, one technique that usually works is to make them curious about it. How do you do it? It’s simple: fascinate them with the ‘mysteries of meditation’, and then dare them to try it and if they’re feeling something. Make them aware of their own bodies and breath, when they are focusing on the air going in and out of their body. You can tell them to place their hands on their chest or belly to feel it rising and falling. Use simple words and start as soon as possible with simple exercises.
2. Use mantras
A mantra is a hymn of Hinduism and Buddhism. Said repeatedly, it aims to relax and induce a state of meditation in those who sing or listen to it. It is considered an instrument of thought.
Reciting mantras helps us to keep focus during meditation exercises. As some traditional mantras are hard to say, it can make repeating them a kind of challenge for your children like a twister, so have them repeat them till they get it right.
The exercise will help to keep them focused, and the pronunciation of the mantras will clear their throats and windpipes, enabling them to breathe better. To keep them hooked on to it, explain the story behind that particular mantra, why it was composed, and its significance. Make the story as exciting and relevant as you can!
3. Try visualization
A child’s imagination runs free; help them to learn how to utilize that in meditation. Painting a vivid story is a great way to drive through and discipline the mind. The right story can lead your children to the right state of mind to relax.
You can also include them in the creative process. Find some time to sit together with them and create a story free of judgment or of the limitations of the world. Then motivate them to imagine faces, places, and everything you’re narrating as you ask them to describe it out loud.
Let them imagine where the story goes, and be able to communicate it. This creative exercise will broaden their ideas, keep them focused on one thing (something essential for meditation), and give you a glimpse of their inner mind and thought process.
Helping them to develop their storytelling skills will have a huge impact on who they are and who they will become. Plus, it’s a great way to keep them away from the digital world for a bit and focused on the power of imagination.
4. Light a candle
Introduce some tools and props to help you and your children reach a state of meditation. One technique that usually works is to place a lit candle and ask your children to stare at it as long as they can and count the number of times the flame flicks. To motivate them, you can create some reward system, like small gifts, each time they sit for a longer duration than before.
You can also ask them to gaze down and walk around, being mindful of the little available light. Your children will then need to concentrate more on their body, mind, and other senses to help them navigate.
5. Create a routine
Children subconsciously adapt to their environment is through imitation. You may repeat a message a thousand times, but if your behavior is not consistent with what you say, your child will tend to imitate the wrong behavior rather than obeying a direction.
More important than what you say to your children is what you show them! So if you’re trying to persuade your children into meditation, you’ll have to do it by giving the example. The best way is to do it yourself every day.
You’ll see that they’ll feel curious watching you, and soon they’ll start copying you. When they sit next to you and ask you about what you are doing, answer them patiently, honestly, and in simple terms why you are meditating. Then you might invite them to join you!
6. Connect with nature
Humans need contact with nature to feel complete. Take your kids to a scenic place and talk to them about the surroundings. Explain what you’re seeing and tell them beautiful stories. It’s essential that you teach them that we’re all part of nature and to teach them to love and respect it.
Kids need to leave the house often, to feel the world is a big adventure and to be able to explore it. They have a curious spirit that mustn’t be crushed with fear or numbed with inactivity. They need to get fresh air and to find ways to relax while in contact with nature, far from smartphones, computers, and tablets. This is a great way to make them more aware of their surroundings and focused.
Meditation can truly be very helpful for children: it can help them sleep better; it can increase their self-esteem and strengthens their relationship with their loved ones; it can help them cope better with stress; it can increase their focus and self-control and it can make them more empathetic. Overall is a tool that will help them to become better and healthier individuals.
SEE ALSO: 20 Ways To Relax In Less Than 5 Minutes
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