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Introducing Children to Meditation


Children and meditationMeditation is an excellent way to unwind after an eventful day. Life can at times be stressful, triggered by various factors such as work, family and life in general. Our children are not immune to stress either; they also undergo quite considerable amounts of stress on a daily basis. If children start meditating early, their brains and intellectual capacity tend to develop rapidly. They also stand to benefit emotionally, psychologically and physically.

The term meditation is used widely, and generally means becoming aware of your body, your breathing, your feelings, and entering a deep state of relaxation. Meditation has long been thought of as an adults-only practice, but the skills learned through meditation can be invaluable tools for helping children’s emotional and learning development.

 

A simple meditation technique for children below 8 years of age

Parents can initially begin with a simple meditation technique in order to instill awareness of the Being in kids. For example, we may playfully instruct the child in body awareness by saying, “Feel that you are a statute until I count to 10. Now bend your elbows and now straighten your arms.” We can give similar instructions with the legs and may ask them to wiggle their toes, and so on. This makes them aware of each part of their bodies. Once children have developed a little body awareness, we can teach them to listen to and follow outside sounds, or to visualize imaginary realms, or we can read stories that stimulate their imaginations.

 

How to start the process

Feeling Their Breath: The breath is the key starting point in a meditation session. For starters, it is very important for a child to learn how to feel his breath. The child should feel the movements of his chest as he breathes in and out. The session should be conducted in a quiet place. With lots of practice, the child will learn how to focus and slowly waft away into a spiritual state of higher consciousness.

Be Creative: A parent would certainly know what a child likes and use this to gain his attention. Create a fairy tale that is captivating enough to sway them to the world of your creation, a world they identify with. Draw their curiosity and once you have them where you want, have them join in the tale and share their imaginations. This is also an opportunity to learn a lot about your kid’s thoughts from this.

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Kalyani Shankar is a mother of twins and works as a German Linguist in an MNC. Amidst the jam packed busy life of a working mother, she looks forward to spending quality time with her kids when back home. Kalyani loves to introduce thought-provoking and fun activities that interest children. As a Balvikas spiritual educator for children, she strives to include ‘Spirituality and its Relevance’ in daily life situations and mentors parents on the same lines.


5 thoughts on “Introducing Children to Meditation

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    Such a good post Kalyani – you have touched on a useful topic, yes, but also the tips and ideas that you suggest are so easy to follow and practical. When dealing with children, we definitely need and look for this kind of simplicity.

    Reply
  2. krishna

    Very impressed with your post Kalyani…during counselling sessions with parents having kids with ADHD I have never mentioned meditation eventhough it is quoted in the literature because I simply cannot do it myself….I am going to practice and recommend your ideas.Thank you.

    Reply

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