"If every child in the world is taught meditation,
we will eliminate violence from the world
within one generation"
I love this quote about meditation for children from the Dalai Lama.
In meditation we are invited to look at ourselves and how we interact with the world around us. This brings forth awareness. Awareness is the beginning of change. And what we each want, underneath it all, is love. That is all.
Over the last 25 years of teaching meditation I have met parents and teachers that had great ideas in teaching their children meditation or develop the many abilities that are necessary to succeed meditation. I want to share them with you. Maybe they inspire you too!
The best and most powerful thing you can do for yourself and for your children is to meditate yourself. Children copy what you do, even they might think it is strange at first. Meditate, let them know when you meditate and what you need from them to be supported. Maybe you want them to be quiet at that time or play in their rooms if they like with their doors closed. This is a powerful lesson for them; to not disturb you and time where they need to entertain themselves.
When I was living with little ones I asked them to help me create a "Please be quiet" hanger for my door. They loved it. When I would come home they would come running to me asking: "When will I meditate again?" because they wanted to be there to start me off to turn around the door hanger.
You could also do something at the end of your meditations that is fun and include them in someway. This way they look forward to you meditating.
Supporting your child to prepare themselves to go to sleep can make a
huge difference in the restful and conscious sleep the child will have.
This single activity should not be underestimated!
WHEN: Every night before the child goes to sleep
TEACHING: Teach your child that they are able to let go of all the things of the day and that there is another place of love and peace that they can now go to - to rest in. The restfulness and quality of sleep is directly related to the consciousness your child falls asleep in.
This meditation for children is on my list A MUST!
If you do not have time for anything else...dedicate yourself to do this with your child every evening. In Sleep Meditation you can read more on the benefits of falling asleep in a conscious state.
WHEN: This is great when a child feels angry and upset.
TEACHING: There is nothing wrong with the feelings of anger, hatred and upset. Learn to move them in a positive way and to open up.
PROPS: Each child needs a pillow or towel.
TIP! A great meditation for children to be done by Dad!
EXPERIENCE: It is amazing how real this is for children. Children also have the ability to let go really fast. So if they are done in 10 seconds, well done. It is also wonderful to hear what comes out of their mouths when they are quiet. Many children want to apologize to someone and it is wonderful to hear the truth spoken so clearly and simply.
Kids love singing and dancing and it is a wonderful to sing with them the ancient mantra's and love songs to God. There is a way that you can use singing and dancing as a meditation for children.
WHEN: Chanting improves the child's ability to focus and concentrate and has powerful effects on the brain development. Dancing is a great way to move energy, to shake off illusions and healthy for the body.
TEACHING: You can chant - sing - dance any time anywhere and it has powerful effects on children's mood, ability to focus and concentrate.
There are simple and easy to follow mantra's that are easy for children to learn. Here are some ideas to get you started:
In Mantra and Chants you learn more about meditation mantra's and chants.
It is also very simple, to just put some music on and start dancing with them. This is particular good for the mornings or the first thing when they come back from school. This is a meditation for children that is so much fun to do and involve the whole family!
Practicing silence is good for everyone! If you think it is not possible for children to be quiet, it is not true. It is all a matter of how you explain it to them and yourself being a sincere part of it. It might be challenging at first to get this routine in but once it is in your children will look forward to this part as it nurtures them and gives then a much needed break. A perfect meditation for children.
Here are some pointers to help teach them:
The ability to focus and concentrate are priceless abilities for your child to possess. There are many different exercises you can do with your child that will help develop this ability. When your child wants to pick up meditation in the future, having this ability developed will have child take to meditation as a fish to water. What a gift.
WHEN: All children can benefit from sharpening and developing this ability. How you do it is very unique to your child's interests and strengths.
TEACHING: The ability to focus and concentrate is innate; meaning we all received
this at birth. Not all of have a natural instinct to use it and it needs
developing. Any child can develop this!
There are a few yoga positions that are great to do with your children.
WHEN: Children are tired or have difficulty to focus or think.
TEACHING: Learning to stay present with your body, your breath and gain control over body movements.
PROPS: Loose clothing and if you have it, a yoga mat is helpful