Rest assured: the reason why kids might not like meditating isn’t because of meditation itself, but another factor is influencing their dislike of the practice. Once this outside factor is identified, you can work to eliminate it so your child can truly love their time spent in meditation.
Meditation is like a muscle, it gets stronger the more you use it. When introducing your child to the world of meditation, to experience the full range of benefits, it needs to be practiced on a consistent basis. When kids begin meditating, they may feel it can be hard to focus, but with time this focus will come naturally. Not experiencing the benefits of meditation and finding it difficult to focus can make kids feel unmotivated to meditate.
Building meditation into your child’s daily or weekly routine doesn’t need to be a time consuming process. On some days it may be enough to simply have your child focus on a few breaths. When building meditation into a routine it’s also a good idea to keep their meditation time consistent from day to day. If your child struggles to fall asleep at night, playing meditative sleep stories every night may be a good idea. Or if your child gets nervous before sports practice, doing a shorter length meditation in the car before each practice might be beneficial.
Oftentimes children aren’t going to recognize the benefits of meditation, even if they are experiencing them. It’s helpful to remind kids of the good feelings they have experienced as a result of meditating. You can say things like, “Remember how calm you felt during your meditation time?” or “When you were upset this morning, you used your words, instead of throwing a toy. Meditation helps you make good choices.” Gentle reminders that meditation is in fact beneficial to them is a great way to help your child become aware of these positive changes. Once they are more aware of what to look for, over time they will start recognizing the benefits on their own.
Meditation isn’t a one size fits all practice; there are many different types of meditation. Children, for example, often enjoy moving meditations, or guided story meditations, because both movement and stories are familiar to them. Loving-kindness meditations are especially great for children who may struggle with self-esteem and confidence. Breath meditations are good for calming and easing kids into sleep, but if children have a stuffy nose or find breathwork makes them anxious, a body scan meditation may be preferable.
Exposing your child to different meditation styles and lengths is the best way to see which types are right for them. Always listen to your child and what their preferences are. If they just want to listen to meditative stories or focus on their breath, that’s okay. If they’d rather take a moving meditation or sit outside under the stars enjoying the quiet, it’s all good. As long as your child enjoys the type of meditation they are practicing, it’s the right meditation style for them.
Wee Meditate offers an ever expanding library complete with many different meditation styles that are designed to make meditation feel familiar and accessible for your child, no matter where they are in their meditation journey.
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