In a world of near constant stimulation and mental health challenges on the rise in youth demographics, kids need meditation now more than ever.
Building meditation into your child’s daily or weekly routine is a great way to combat all of the overstimulation and stressors your child experiences. Meditation looks different for everyone and every child, and there is no “one-size fits all” way to meditate for children, or adults. There are however, many meditation techniques that are especially good for young children, like guided or moving meditations.
When teaching children to meditate, it’s best to have no expectations and let the process unfold naturally. Over time, your child will find the style of meditation that works best for them. Like any new practice, teaching kids to meditate begins with a kid-friendly introduction.
Children often love to live in a world of fantasy and make-believe, so when you’re introducing them to meditation, meet them where they are. Instead of saying, “Let’s sit quietly and focus on our breath,” which probably wouldn’t even motivate most adults, say: “Did you know that you have magic powers to make you feel more calm and peaceful? Let’s take some calming, slow, magical deep breaths and see how much better we feel.”
You might also present meditation as a special power, like that of their favorite superhero. We know that meditation has real benefits that have been scientifically studied, but chances are, your child hasn’t been keeping up with the latest scientific literature in their free time. Instead, explain to them that meditation is like a super power that can help them become in control of their mind and body, just like a superhero.
Adults often meditate with crystals, candles, beads, incense, etc., to bring more meaning into their meditation session. Let your child choose a meditation prop as well. Your child may want a favorite stuffed animal as a meditation buddy, or perhaps has a favorite blanket that calms and relaxes them. Maybe they would prefer to hold a “magic stone” or “fairy feather,” or wear a blanket around their shoulders as a super hero’s cape. Whatever motivates them and helps them feel peaceful is perfect.
Modeling is the one of the best ways to encourage new behaviors in your child. Make a point of telling your child that you are about to do something magical and peaceful that will make you feel wonderful: You are going to meditate. You don’t need to meditate for long, even for just a few moments, but make sure your child can see you. They will probably want to join you, and have lots of questions.
Tell them you are going to sit for a minute and notice how nice it feels to breathe slowly in through the nose, and out from the mouth. Meditating with your child is another great way to model this practice for them. Turn on a guided meditation and invite your child to listen with you. The more they see you using this practice, the more interested they will be.
Invite your child to focus, just for a few seconds, on feeling the air going into, and then out of, their body. Have them place their hand on their tummy and feel it rise on the in-breath and flatten on the out-breath. Say how good you feel now, after meditating, and compliment them on meditating with you. If they can focus for a breath or two, great. If not, that’s okay. Try again when they are ready. Meditation is like a muscle that gets stronger every time you do it. Before you know it seconds will turn into minutes, and your child will be meditating on their own.
Kids won’t meditate if they don’t enjoy it, so make sure to expose them to many different meditation practices. Kids often gravitate towards guided story meditations or mini meditations that incorporate imagination.
Wee Meditate offers thematic content specifically designed to help your child learn and benefit from meditation. All of our content takes place in Dragon’s World, a magical universe where forest characters meditate alongside your child. To introduce your child to meditation through Dragon’s World, preview our content and sign up to begin your child’s magical meditation journey.