Some schools have added meditation courses to their school curriculum/activities, and this is a good thing!
Research shows that teaching children mindfulness practices can improve their attentiveness, self-control, respect for their schoolmates and empathy, not to mention relieving their stress, depression, anxiety and hyperactive behaviour.
Moreover, school children who meditate see significant improvement in their grades.
Meditation is a tool that young ones can use to ward off bad thoughts and behaviours, develop self-confidence, improve concentration, and learn to treat others and themselves right. These are positive characteristics and skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.
Here are some forms of meditation that children would enjoy:
Teaching children to check into their breathing as early as possible is a gift that they can take with them wherever life takes them.
Here’s how to start them on this technique: Inhale five times and exhale five times, using the fingers to count each breath. Instruct them to feel their heart rise and fall as they inhale/exhale, and feel the air as it passes through their noses.
This is especially helpful to children who display hyperactive behaviours. They can learn to calm their minds by slowly breathing and focusing on their breathing.
Ask your child to sit comfortably and quietly, and focus on their breathing. Instruct them that when they suddenly think or feel something, just think of them as clouds in the sky and let them come and go. Watch those cloud formations change and take shape.
It’s okay if your child cannot sit for long. This technique is a great introduction for adult meditation. And what is important is that they learn that nothing is permanent – things always change and things do pass.
Ask children to sit properly and close their eyes. Create a sound, like a bell ringing, and instruct them to explore the sound using their sense of hearing. Tell them to be attentive to the sound, and to raise their hands immediately when they hear the sound stop. You can also try this technique while you are walking with your child in the street or they are lying in bed preparing for sleep. Instead of a bedtime story, why not a bedtime meditation session?
In today’s modern world, electronic distractions are rampant, resulting in families becoming disconnected. Children would rather connect with their virtual friends than spend a few minutes with their parents and siblings to just catch up. For parents who are experiencing this, encourage your children to part with their mobile devices for a few minutes each day and introduce them to the practice of meditation and mindfulness.