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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.
 

anony.

Illusion Investigator
#5
I found my eldest who is 7 is less interested, but highly empathic whereas my little who is 6 is way more curious/inclined towords meditating etc Perhaps that's just their individual path. My eldest is very analytical and has never really shown much interest, but I do believe she takes it all in too, just in her own way. my little will sit with me and always watching when I meditate and we talk for hours about all things spiritual/metaphysical. I took my queues from them. I found 'normalising' it from a young age, like they'd see me meditating or doing yoga and accept it as just 'normal' now that my little is older we have some really deep convos and her intelligence in the matter astounds me, as does her capacity to focus and understand the concepts of the REAL world. I think of it this way, when I was younger I had no clue about any of this and it was only in my 20s that I discovered myself, so even if there's no exposure it doesn't mean anything and perhaps that's just the necessary path at the time.what is for us won't go past us. I don't force my eldest to sit with us, but my littlest seeks me out to do reiki on/with her,or if she's mad/upset she will now come to me and we sit together and focus on our breathing, to calm down. What works for one doesn't work for all. I initially introduced the practice and it must have resonated with her, as my little now often does it herself I even caught her cross legged in her room today 'ooom' ing lol shes incredibly switched on.when I first introduced the idea of them actively meditating it was hit or miss, my little was around 3 and my eldest 4, and it's taken 2 or 3 years for my little to sit for any amount of time, but my eldest doesn't bother. We do a 1to1 time daily, half an hour just me and each girl in turn, they get to choose what they want me for, eg, chat or games or reiki my little often chooses to meditate. We always sit, me cross legged,her on my legs Infront of me cross legged too, and I tell her to focus on her breathing and feel of the warmth of me on her back.i tell her that's all that matters in that moment. Such special times I cherish, and she's really starting to flow now. They are both such sensitive and loving little girls, infact my eldest is highly empathic, whereas she has little interest in practice. They have had a lot of upset in their short little lives too.but I guess it's all in the plan. Even something as simple as grounding in nature both my girls love that we stand bare feet, connect to nature, I tell them it's ok to express in any way they wish, we go in nature and sing or dance or laugh til we cry,we create our own 'normal' i tell them too. actually in every day there's lessons in conciousness living, just seem to present themselves, so in that sense I just go with the flow, take opportunities that come, and trust that they have their own specific path which will unfold the way it's supposed to, with or without my input. I trust that the universe will guide them, when the timing is right.
 

Alain

Astute Creature
#6
if i remember it right i had a tendancy for relaxation or so without even knowing about it, from where a deep calm can come otherwhise. the real push up was when the option relaxation came in sports.

sometimes the things come alone when the timming is correct, and sometimes a little friendly push is needed
 

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