Meditation for Kids

Ever heard of Meditation for Kids? Yes, you read that right, kids can meditate too!


Childhood and adolescent years are fundamental in our development as human beings.  You wouldn’t agree more but, it’s when our personalities are formed, our views of the world develop, and our ways of relating to others and ourselves established.


The skills and tools and we learn in the early years have a huge impact on the rest of our lives - that is why meditation is such an exceptional gift to give to a child. Meditating children will have a profound advantage over other kids.


Science of Meditation for Kids


Mental health issues in kids such as anxiety and depression are increasing in kids. Meditation for children can give them the tools to deal with their emotional challenges, and grow into healthy and mature individuals. Integrating meditation and mindfulness in education is slowly gaining popularity. While in some schools meditation has been serving as an addition or replacement program. Studies have shown that meditation can bring many positive results in a child. From better behavior to less ADHD or being more focused and settled, from better performance in schools to less stress and depression and improved psychological well-being, meditation for children only gets better. 


Meditation was also found to improve the kids’ relationship with their parents, improve empathy and social skills, build self-esteem, decrease test anxiety,  reduce post-traumatic symptoms. 


Types of Meditation for Kids and their Benefits


With meditation, children learn how to better manage their bodies, their emotions, and their energy. There is an increased emotional intelligence, positive outlook of life, and the ability to regulate oneself.


Read on to find out which all meditation are good for kids


Meditation involving sound and hearing


  1. Mantra Meditation

The universal mantra ‘Om’ has a deeply calming effect on the mind, especially due to its prolonged sound. It can even put the child to sleep. Although the mantra meditation needs to be done following certain steps with kids, this mantra can be kept to just the vocal repetition of the mantra.


Mantra meditation technique has a deeply calming effect on the body, mind, and emotions. It integrates hearing, speaking, breathing, and provides a sense of contentment. If done in a group, it can create a stronger connection between the kids chanting together.


Meditation involving sights


  1. Gazing meditation: The idea of this meditation technique is to focus one’s attention on an object. It can be done in a room with the doors and windows shut to give a dark atmosphere (so there is no breeze), and light a candle as the object of focus.

This is a great practice for developing focus, self-confidence, and the ability to visualize. 


Meditation involving Breath 


  1. Mindfulness Breathing for Kids: Mindful breathing is one of the most popular forms of Buddhist meditation practices. This technique can be made more fun for kids by making the kids visualize them breathing colors instead of counting the breaths as is done traditionally. Let them visualize a happy and bright color to breathe in and a darker color to breathe out.

Practicing this technique increases awareness of the body, concentration, and relaxation.


Meditation involving Body 


  1. Walking Beat Meditation: There are different types of walking meditation, most of them include synchronizing slow steps with breathing or a mantra. But as kids tend to be hyperactive who might slow walk boring. So to make this method more engaging and dynamic, we can use a metronome so as to make them walk with steps in sync with the beats.

This technique will take the kids from very energetic to zen. 


Meditation involving Mind


  1. Mindfulness Meditation for Kids: This technique requires observing thoughts and feelings. It is better practiced after other meditation techniques, once the kid is already calm and meditative. The mindfulness technique may be suitable for older kids only. 

This practice builds the ability to regulate one’s thoughts and feelings and develops greater awareness. 


Meditation involving Heart


  1. Loving-Kindness Meditation: This meditation is great for developing positive emotions, and letting go of negative emotions such as anger, hatred, sadness, selfishness, ill-will, indifference, etc. It also helps build kindness, compassion, empathy, and a sense of social connection. 

Its benefits include enhanced focus, helps kids develop better organizational skills, they learn to be more present at the moment. Also, it makes them feel better, learn better, and sleep better.


Few tips to practice meditation for kids:


As we all are aware kids’ minds are always wandering and curious, and as a result, in order to make kids learn meditation effectively, these following principles should be kept in mind as a prerequisite.


  1. Make it engaging and fun: The first priority and most important thing to keep in mind are to present meditation practice in a more fun, interesting and engaging way. This way it will hold their attention and they will never be bored. Make it feel like a play like activity and the kids will like to do it again.
  2. Appeal to their imagination: understanding abstract things like meditation can be hard for most kids to understand. So, make sure their imaginations and creativity are engaged in practice. One of doing this is to frame the activity as a challenge.
  3. Keep it short: Kids don’t have the patience to sit still for 15 minutes or more as meditation in general requires. A trick here is to keep the session as long as the child’s age is plus add one extra. A meditation timer with a bell can make it more interesting. 
  4. Set an example: Children imitate better than following instructions. Didn’t we as kids love imitating adults and feel older? The best way to teach a kid meditation is for you to meditate and be an example. Let them see you motionless and peaceful as you meditate. 
  5. Be flexible and supportive: At the end of the practice, ask them how their meditation experience was like. Like what they felt like before and after the session. This will encourage children to develop self-awareness and self-expression. At times, kids may even exaggerate. Accept, validate, and reaffirm whatever they share. Make sure they are not lost, confused, or unhappy about it.
  6. Manage your expectations: When meditation practice can take time for adults then the child is no exception. You can’t expect a junior-Buddha in just two weeks. Meditation is a tool that will give him or her valuable lessons about themselves, managing themselves better, and create a space of calm and strength inside themselves.

One thing is for sure, transforming our young children is a good place to start to create a better society - one that is more peaceful, prosperous, and fair. For this goal, meditation certainly serves an important purpose, giving the young a powerful way to manage themselves and grow into more kind, more able, and more mature individuals. Many methods can be adapted for children and teenagers. Each kid will have different techniques that they will benefit from the most, so it’s important to allow them to be exposed to different meditation practices. The child will harbor these skills and aspects learned through meditation as he grows from teenage to adulthood.


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