It’s not just the grown ups that need some peace of mind right now! Last week we discussed how meditation will help you in isolation. You’ve felt the benefits of meditation for yourself – so why not get the kids involved? All this time with the family is a great time to pay it forward. For a lot of kids anxiety and restlessness are high right now, and simply breathing could be the solution. Here are some easy, practical tips for you to add meditation practices into your home life.
Add This Breathing Exercise To Their Daily Routine
The method we suggest here is the Five Finger Method. We’re recommending this one because it’s simple enough for all ages, and doesn’t need a video or worksheet to follow. Pair this breathing exercise to a regular daily activity to keep meditation consistent (and help you remember to do it!). Pick a suitable segment of your kids routine – we suggest pre-bath or pre-bed for this one. Tell them you’re adding another fun step to bed/bath time and teach them these steps:
- Spread your hand out in front of your face like a starfish
- Stroke your finger of your other hand up the side of your thumb counting 1… 2… 3… while breathing in
- Now stroke down the other side of your thumb counting 1… 2… 3… while breathing out
- Repeat this for every finger on your hand
- Adapt how many times you pass through a full ‘hand’ of breathing to your child’s needs.
Try Sixty Seconds of Stillness When Things Get Hectic
When things get chaotic at home try this method for nipping things in the bud before they get out of hand. This technique saved us from a lot of toy car throwing. See an argument or period of hyperactivity coming? Use this technique to help things simmer down.
- Say freeze! Tell the kids that for sixty seconds they are going to freeze still!
- In this 1 minute, even their thoughts need to stand still!
- Only their breath is allowed to move!
- Their breath can only move slowly, in and out!
- Time this for sixty seconds, or count aloud.
Freezing and focusing ‘resets’ the mood of the room and calms them down. Suddenly they’ve forgotten the coming argument or the irritating-noises-game. The relatively short time and game-like aspect make this appealing to younger kids and is a great star-chart activity.
Play Guided Meditation Videos For Kids
Show your kids that meditation can be creative! Kids would spend their lives on YouTube if we let them, let’s face it. But YouTube is an excellent resource for finding ways to get your kids meditating. For a before-bed meditation the secret treehouse guided meditation is very popular. If your child is experiencing anxiety and tension due to the pandemic situation, try one that’s more focused on relaxation. The same channel also has a kids guided meditation for relaxation.
In the end – you know your kids best. You know what’s stressing them the most and in which moments they need the most help. Don’t be afraid to adapt any techniques to your kids unique needs. Meditation isn’t a dogma, it’s a buffet! Pick and choose a mix of what works best, and stick at it!
Have any of you guys tried meditation and breathing techniques with the kids? How did it go? Any advice for parents who are just starting out?
Check out our grown-up meditation aids here.
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