Kids often worry about things without knowing how to cope with the stress or how to manage their feelings. Meditation and mindfulness exercises can all help kids relax, become more aware of their bodies & minds and deal with big emotions.
“Due to the rising corona cases, schools in the area will remain closed until further notice. We urge all our viewers to continue following precautions to reduce the spread of this deadly virus,” the news anchor broke the dreaded news as the kids were getting their backpacks ready for the next day.
“Mommy, does that mean we can’t go back to school yet?” my daughter asked sadly.
“Sorry, honey. I think they will stay closed for a little bit longer.” I replied, trying to hide my own disappointment. I knew my kids were really looking forward to going back to school so seeing their sad little faces made me upset.
This pandemic has been really hard on all of us, being especially detrimental for our little ones. The virus itself has spared many kids’ bodies but it has not been as kind to their minds. Their routines and day-to-day lives have been shaken up, they have been isolated from friends and classmates and they feel a heightened sense of fear due to all the uncertainty and pessimism around them.
Pediatricians are observing a growing range of issues amongst children in the last few months including behavioral and mental health disorders which can all be linked to the pandemic.
As parents and caregivers, this means that we have to find new ways to mitigate the problems our children are encountering. We may not be able to mend their issues but we can help alleviate the stress and fear that they are feeling nowadays.
One of the most effective practices to build resilience and soothe anxiety in children is meditation. It can prove to be an important tool as children grow up and learn to manage their own emotions and even just a few minutes spent in meditation daily can have amazing benefits for kids.
Meditation For Kids Online
What is meditation?
In a nutshell, meditation is the process of connecting our bodies with our minds by focusing deeply on breathing patterns. It involves paying attention to the breath as it goes in and out and noticing when the mind wanders away from this task. The practice of redirecting that attention back to the breath is what builds up the muscle used for focus, attention and mindfulness.
- The word ‘meditation’ stems from meditatum, a Latin term that means ‘to ponder.’
- It is an ancient practice that people have been practicing for over 3000 years.
- Meditation is known to have originated from early Hindu traditions in India.
Meditation for kids
As your children grow up, they will acquire skills from their surroundings that will help them mature mentally and emotionally.
That’s why learning meditation at a young age can prove to be beneficial for children because that is the time when they are most receptive and the skill is more likely to remain with them as they get older.
Over their life span, meditation will have a significant impact on children as they will learn positive ways on how to express their emotions, deal with social situations and cope with the stress in their lives.
5 reasons meditation is great for kids
1. Better connection
While meditation is not going to cure all your child’s problems, it will surely give them a chance for some introspection and time to see who they truly are on the inside. When they take time out to meditate, they are consciously taking control of their inner being and how they respond to external stimuli.
2. Reduced levels of stress
When children meditate, the way their bodies and minds respond to stress changes. The mind and body work together to initiate a more relaxing response, instead of an increase in the stress hormones in a challenging situation.
3. Better sleep
Children tend to have a better and deeper sleep when they meditate because it helps the body and mind enter a calmer state. They feel better physically and emotionally more relaxed than kids that do not practice meditation regularly.
4. Improved self-esteem
Meditation helps children to become better in tune with themselves and more aware of who they are as a person. This includes recognizing their own weaknesses and being more aware of their own strengths which is a booster for their self-esteem.
5. Ability to focus and concentrate
Regular practice of meditation actually creates long-term neurological changes which increase their ability to concentrate, focus and make better decisions.
Tips for parents to get started:
- It’s best to incorporate meditation in your child’s morning or bedtime routines and keep the practices short so your child stays interested for the whole duration.
- Keep it simple by starting with 10 to 15 minutes, a few times a week and then slowly add the practice to their daily routines.
- Your children can wear whatever they like as long as they are comfortable and the area that they meditate is also relaxing.
- Music can be a great tool and can help guide their meditation. The sounds can help children relax, calm their nerves and induce more restful sleep.
- And remember, it doesn’t always have to be about sitting still. Children can build up mindfulness by paying attention to their bodies when running or dancing or even when performing everyday activities by paying attention to their senses.
It may seem daunting initially to start a meditation routine with your kids. But knowing how to meditate yourself will make it a lot easier for your little ones.
Nowadays, there are plenty of resources available to help guide you and your kids to find a practice that works for you. With your busy schedules, you can choose to start meditation with kids in the convenience and safety of your own homes. Let’s raise calmer, relaxed and less anxious children who grow up to be happier adults.
The Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy is a great place where parents and kids can learn about their emotional grid system, how to manage the BIG Emotions, learn to meditate and apply practical tools of application in the real world using proven techniques to arm them with the capacity to unplug in a plugged-in world.
For additional online resources on meditation for kids, please visit https://emotionalliteracyacademy.com/resources/guidedmeditation/ where you can find great tips and techniques for meditation with your children.
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About the Founder
Internationally Recognised Emotional Literacy & Mindfulness Expert Tenille Bentley is the founder of The Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy and the author of the children’s emotional literacy books with Jazzy and Pinky and The Energy Ball. Giving children a wonderful introduction to understanding their emotions and what do with them.
Tenille has been featured on Channel 9 News and other major outlets. Her work has been recognised in the community by The Governor of Western Australia, The Prime Minister of Australia and Australian Financial Review.
As a child she experienced severe anxiety and emotional traumas as well as bullying which left her feeling isolated, and unable to understand why she was feeling the way she did. As an adult this impacted her ability to make healthy decisions because she didn’t have the tools to understand her emotions.
Which is why she is passionate about equipping parents with the tools to support their children to make better decisions in life and healthy ones to help support and create a balanced home life.