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Teaching children meditation

Golmona

Astute Creature
Staff member
Board Moderator
#1
Am curious if any of you have any experience with incorporating a meditation practice into your child(ren)’s daily routine?

And how do you go about encouraging a mindful presence, especially when children enter their teenage years. I feel younger children are inherently more present in the moment, however with age this can change. So bringing in the practice of mindful presence at a certain age can be very beneficial.

How did you go about it and at what age did you start? What were some of the challenges you encountered?
 

Linda

Sweetheart of the Rodeo
Staff member
Global Moderator
Administrator
Board Moderator
#2
Great question - I'm interested in this, too.
 

Angela

Resolute Spirit
#3
My examples may be precursors, but at least by planting those seeds, I hope as my five year old gets older, it'll be easier to incorporate it.
First of all, he sees me go meditate.
We also have books that encourage slowing down and recognizing our emotions and responses and stuff. A couple of the books we have are specifically geared to having them take deep breaths and notice the relaxation or emotions connected to how we were feeling.
I do yoga at times, and so my son is always ready to join in if he's there. Haha.

And I think most directly beneficial is that we try to practice alternative actions for our anger. (Not always working, but it's a practice. Haha). Stepping away. Teaching him how deep breaths slow everything down so you can think clearly. getting all that energy out at a pillow or jumping on the trampoline, etc. Sometimes I'll try to get him to see anger as built up steam in a train engine (he loves trains) and he needs to blow it out.

I know a lot of these are anger and heavy emotion related, but it's always a starting point with small children, I think. And being able to recognize, regulate, and feel how those emotions are fluid is a pretty big step into mindfulness as they get older. It may be harder to deal with certain emotions as they get older, because it gets pretty conflicting, so having a toolbag of suggestions such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga, running, and good exercise, art, and music as an outlet for those emotions are always beneficial to encourage a conscious connection.

I think the sentiment of being able to see simple things, like watching a bird or a butterfly and really taking moments like that, rather than supplanting it with internet and screen time would be paramount as well.

Anyway. I say all this stuff. My kid's only 5. Haha. I bet it's going to go down a lot more differently than my wax poetic here. Haha
 

Hailstones Melt

Realized Sentience
Staff member
Board Moderator
#4
I created two dysfunctional families by marrying individuals who said/pretended/lied to themselves that they were spiritually motivated, but did not act so. I created a life where my daughter got to see trauma, division, two camps always at each other's throats, unhappiness, and she experienced abuse from both these fathers. Therefore, all my creativity, yoga, music, massage, and artistic pursuits did not gain her attention. She rejected all attempts to take her to yoga retreats, school holiday camps for artists, tennis classes, etc, and to this day she hates counsellors and psychotherapists. In other words, against all my goodwill and desire to create the right environment for her to blossom, I managed to do the opposite. I think if you have a mighty split in the family situation, all the other can be blown right off course. Getting the dynamic right in the family seems to be the first thing. But for those of you who have achieved that, first of all, congratulations. And secondly, I believe our little people actually do absorb and observe everything we are doing, whether they mention it or not. So Angela is right to allow herself to be the role model.
 

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