Kids and adults alike can feel overwhelmed with daily stress and intense emotions. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to push pause on the world and just slow down for a moment? With meditation, there is! You can easily incorporate simple meditation into your daily routine, both for yourself and for your child.
Meditation offers both mental and physical benefits. From increased attention and improved self-regulation to better sleep, stress-management skills, and more, just five minutes of simple meditation at the start or end of your day can help your family’s well-being in a variety of ways. Let Crème de la Crème show you how simple meditation can benefit you and your child.
Wait, Exactly What IS Meditation?
You’ve likely come across people touting the benefits of meditation in the news, on social media, and beyond. Before you dive headfirst into the practice, though, it’s important to understand exactly what meditation is. All in all, meditation offers a practice of self-awareness and mindfulness. It trains your mind to focus and redirect thoughts in a positive way. That’s true no matter the age of the practitioner.
Incorporating regular meditation into a routine can teach you and your kids to let your minds encounter stressful thoughts without judgment, developing tools to relax when it’s most needed.
It’s all too easy to forget to slow down, breathe, and sit with your thoughts in today’s fast-paced reality. Meditation can teach you how to switch off distractions. Whether it’s an external cause (think: a thunderstorm, too much homework, or any of the many things that can cause kids stress) or simply internal racing thoughts, meditation helps you focus on the present moment.
Who Benefits From Meditating?
Anyone can reap the benefits of meditation, even — and maybe especially — kids. Children as young as toddler age can learn to meditate. When you build meditation into your day-to-day routine, you’ll help your kid build the skills to tap into meditation whenever they need some quiet and calm. Of course, by going on this journey with your child, you’ll also learn how to make meditation work for you.
You can look forward to a quieter home environment once your child knows how to meditate, but that in-the-moment benefit isn’t the only reason to teach your kid the peaceful practice. Kids who learn how to meditate early can better manage unwanted emotions.
Think of meditation as a coping skill — one that your child can draw on for the rest of their lives. Consistent meditation can help kids’:
- Information retention.
- Stress management.
- Overall well-being.
Meditation can even improve relationships and bring down familial stress. In other words, try meditating daily with your kids. The benefits above can apply to you, too. You may even find that meditating helps decrease anxiety, improve memory, and help control pain.
When Should You Teach Kids Meditation?
Young children can absolutely learn how to meditate, but introducing and practicing meditation with your kid at the right time goes a long way. Instead of trying to meditate for the first time when your child is already feeling overwhelmed, start meditating together when they’re calm. By building up the practice when kids are in a more relaxed state, kids will learn how to access the skill in tougher moments.
So, try making meditation a part of your morning or bedtime routine. You’re less likely to have responsibilities competing with your kid’s needs in those moments if you’re already going through a morning or evening routine together, so it’s the perfect opportunity to start learning the basics of meditation.
How Can You Teach Kids To Meditate?
Toddlers and preschoolers are ready to learn simple meditation techniques, so you can start incorporating meditation at home even if your child is that young. Toddlers and preschool-age kiddos benefit from copying the adults caring for them. When you make meditation a part of everyday life in your family, your child learns to normalize meditation and implement it as part of their own routine.
Simple breathing exercises offer a great place to start with the youngest meditators. Take deep breaths together while sitting in a comfortable position. A yoga pose such as baby cobra or just sitting cross-legged can work well while trying out meditative breathing. Then, guide your child in connecting with their body, such as by instructing them to watch the movement and feeling of their belly as they take breaths in and out. You can also take a moment to emphasize the good feelings you experience while practicing meditation so your kid can tap into those feelings as well.
Remember, it’s totally fine if kids act like kids while meditating. You can make meditation fun for your child. Let them move around or giggle when they’re trying out new things, but keep practicing and maintain patience.
If you have elementary school-age kids, you can move into techniques like guided imagery. You can find apps with free scripts to get you started. Guided imagery is perfect to add to a bedtime routine, helping kids slow down before drifting off to sleep.
No matter how old your child is, teaching breathing techniques builds a strong foundation for meditating, building up to a deeper practice as your child gets used to the idea and starts embracing their ongoing routine. Five minutes of breathing and simple meditation at the start and end of the day can offer a range of benefits while laying the groundwork for a meditation practice for years to come.
That wraps up Crème de la Crème’s guide on how to incorporate simple meditation to help you and your child. With so many benefits, meditation is a great thing to explore with your family. Have you ever tried meditating with your kids? Do you have tips for what has worked for your family? Let us know if you do. We’d love to share more examples of what has worked for families teaching their kids how to meditate to help other families as they embark on their meditation journey.