The Benefits of Meditation for Children & How to get Them to Do it
In the present world of sensory overload & school, family & internal pressures, children require meditation to the extent that of adults. Meditation help children develop focus, control their own emotions & learn how to pay concentration inside & out. It provides them a sense of center &, consequently, resilience.
But as adult meditation is all about turning the mind inward, with children, often the initial step in meditation practice is intentionally, & with focus, discovering the senses prior to they can be turned inside. Try the below child meditation exercises to help them create calm, focus & build self awareness
Pay Attention! Bell Meditation
- Ask children to sit up tall within “criss-cross applesauce” & let their eyes close. Ring a bell or a singing bowl, & ask children to use their intellect of hearing to discover the sound. Request them to listen very cautiously, & as soon as they hear the sound stop, lift their hand. They can then practice attentive listening without the use of bell. Close your eyes & then carefully listen to the sounds in your space. Which are closest, far away, left or right? You can also try this meditation as you walk down the street or lying in bed prior to falling asleep.
Chant! Relaxation Song
- This meditation unites song with touch & brings even the youngest of children to a place of calm. Ask the children to sit up tall. Occasionally we sing the syllables or now and then an English affirmation. With every syllable, feel a different finger to your thumb, starting with the pointer finger & slowly moving to the pinky. We practice whispering, singing, & singing quietly to ourselves in our mind. This is a self calming exercise & can be done discretely anywhere children want to calm down, from the train, to the classroom desk & to the dinner table.
Take in air! Take 5 Breaths
- Your breath is forever with you. Try to perform "take five breath" where you inhale for 5, & exhale for 5. Use the fingers to count as you take in air. Slowing the breath will slow down your senses. You can feel your heart rise & fall as you breathe. You can feel the breath enter & leave your nose.
Observe! Cloud Gazing
- Sitting silently, pay concentration to your inhale & exhale. When feelings or thoughts come up, imagine of them like clouds moving away through your mind, which is similar to the sky. You can see the clouds come & just go like the clouds in the sky move & shift in their shapes. Children may not be seated too long, but just initiating this concept is a great training for adult meditation. & the consciousness that things are always change & things do pass is significant to share & practice observing with children
A fresh study published in an International Journal found that when children are taught to practice meditation, their concentration spans are considerably increased.