Teach Your Child How to Meditate
Meditation with children is easy and boosts numerous positive results. In only ten minutes a day, you can help your child achieve more calm and peace in life, get better grades, improve concentration, and heighten self-esteem. It requires no more dedication than a routine fairytale read before bedtime. Meditating with your child should not seem like a new age technique. In fact, it is not new at all. It is thousands of years old. Meditation with kids is becoming increasingly popular in the west now due to the research based results our kids get when they practice meditation. Meditation is simply calming the mind and finding the quiet space within, finding that refuge that exists within each of us.
Practicing meditation with your child is simple. An easy way to do this begins by setting aside ten minutes in the evening right before your child dozes off. When your child is comfortable, simply help him focus on deep belly breathing – inhaling and exhaling slowly, filly up the tummy completely and then letting it go. This automatically calms the body and mind too. This is truly a wonderful experience for both parent and child.
Next, ask your child to imagine breathing in calm and love and breathing out anything unhappy that happened during the day. Focus on this for several minutes while you just enjoy being in the moment with your child. You can close your eyes and use this time to enjoy the calm within as well. Your meditation can be as simple as that. Additionally, you can choose to add some guided imagery to your meditation. Imagine taking your child on a journey by picturing a rainbow and becoming part of the vivid scenery you describe. Imagine sitting by a river enjoying the swift current that takes away worries or focusing on a star and absorbing the warm healing light it radiates. Adding these visual elements to your meditation becomes fun for children as they become active participants.
You can create your very own adventure for your child by first observing what he enjoys the most. What are some of favorite activities and subjects for your child? Depending on age, this may be fairies and Ferris wheels, or knights and castles. Create the scenario and allow it to unfold as you tell it. As your story adventure unfolds with your child, add elements of character values and nobleness to the mix which will inspire your child. Ask your child to “watch” as he embodies all the goodness and peace you are seeking to incorporate in his life. Ask your child to really feel it. Continue with the short story until you come to a natural conclusion, encouraging your child to bring back feelings of peace, calm and good as sleep time approaches.
The wonderful joy-filled moments your child has spent in meditation with you will become associated with good things and your child will have a sense of well – being that elevates self-esteem and everyday peacefulness. The only limit you have is the limit you put on your own imagination. One of the most important components of guided visualizations and meditations is the detail. Instead of just seeing a ‘river’ allow your child to visualize a ‘lazy, winding river the color of blue satin, twisting and turning around the lush green banks’. Listening to your meditative stories repeatedly develops your child’s concentration and focus, even for the most active child. You will find that your child anxiously awaits your evening meditation together.
Meditation is an opportune time for bonding with your child. Through active and quiet listening to your child, you can find many subjects for your creative meditations. Children are very good communicators if we take the time to fully listen to them. Use the themes discussed in your talks with your child to develop a meditation. For example, if your child is worried about an upcoming test, create your meditation around your child visualizing calm test-taking, knowing all the answers and confidence in his or her ability. Have him or her visualize total success and getting a good grade.
Meditation also presents an opportunity to teach spiritual values to your child. Kindness, gratitude, loving what is and peacefulness are healthy values to embody and explore within each meditation. Enjoy creating your guided meditations and enjoy meditating with your children. Setting an example and teaching mediation at this early age will help your child discover the peace within and build personal self-confidence and love to face even the most stressful of life-situations.
Mellisa Dormoy, Founder of Shambalakids, http://www.ShambalaKids.com
ShambalaKids Meditations help children to relieve stress & anxiety, improve their self-esteem, sleep better at night, connect with their inner-knowing and to feel fantastic in mind, body and spirit. With our relaxation and meditation CDs and techniques, children learn how to release stress & difficulties and focus on the positive, while creating wonderful experiences in their life through the power of their thoughts. ShambalaKids offers guided creative imagery Cds for parents and professionals, spiritual & holistic resources, classes for parents and blessings for the whole family!