Meditation and mindfulness is a craze that’s taking the world by storm for adults. But what about our children? Mindfulness is the opposite of mindlessness and we all know that there are definitely times when our kids go berserk and appear to lose their minds. Meditation may be an effective way for you and your child to become centred and focus on the task at hand. Our helpful guide aims to walk you through the benefits of meditation and how to incorporate it into your child’s daily life.

Benefits of Meditation

Mediation is also great at reducing stress. Although we may look at our children’s lives and think they couldn’t possibly be having anything but the best time, there are still stresses that they’re under, even as little ones. Whether it’s making new friends or not being able to tie their shoes as well as everyone else can, our children can still experience stress.

Meditation can help to centre your child and bring their focus to a task or activity. The University of California Los Angeles undertook a research project where they introduced a meditation program to preschoolers. The research found that the meditation increased mindfulness which helped with the children’s memory and their ability to plan and organise.

Other benefits include:

  • Helping them fall asleep (especially when practised at bedtime)
  • Get along better with others
  • Performance in learning
  • Focusing
  • Relaxation
  • Happiness

Ways to Meditate

It’s not just about yoga poses or tai chi, though those are still great too. You have plenty of options for meditation and here are our top 3 recommendations.

1. Meditate in the car with a song

If you have young children it can be difficult to get them on board with sitting still and focusing, so utilising time in the car when they’re strapped into their seats can be a great approach. Once you get home, take 2 minutes before anyone gets out of the car to breathe in and out together. You could go by a set number of breaths, or choose a soft song to listen to so they will begin to understand how long it will last and will give them some extra stimuli if they’re not super excited about meditating.

2. Meditate when you get home

If your children are capable of unbuckling their own seat belts and you can’t lock them in the car with you, then you could encourage a quick 3-4 minutes of meditation once you’re in the house. Ask everyone to take off their shoes and put their bags down, head to a designated spot in the house and ask them to sit or lie down. Then you can either run through some breathing or try a guided meditation app to listen to. Headspace has guided meditation plans specifically for children.

3. Meditate before bedtime

When it’s almost time for bed and everyone has completed their teeth brushing and changed into their pyjamas you could set aside a few minutes to meditate. This might include telling each other what you hope to dream of and take 10 slow breaths in and out. This will help your child to focus on bedtime and relax them in case they were just running around the house with their siblings.

Meditate as a Family

However you decide to meditate you’ll need to get the whole family on board. It’s important that everyone understand why you’re meditating (i.e. to relax, focus, help our learning), and try to make it part of the everyday routine. A quick 5 minutes a day can make a significant difference in your child’s learning and their future.

- The Sunkids Team