12 Tips to Encourage Your Children to Join you in Mindfulness!
Do you ever wonder how you can encourage your children to join you in mindfulness and meditation? After all, their lives can be stressful too when they’re trying to get good grades, make friends, and adapt to the changes that are part of growing up.
Sure, it would be tough to train a toddler to meditate for a half hour when they can barely sit still long enough to eat. However, there are age-appropriate activities suitable for any stage of development, from preschoolers to teens.
Read on to find out more about how to help your children develop greater mindfulness and relieve stress.
Sharing Relaxation Practices with Younger Children
Even small children can relax and focus if you use movement and sound to make it interesting. It also helps if you provide an inspiring role model by managing stress constructively yourself.
Try these techniques:
1. Make it fun. Be sure to present relaxation practices as a helpful tool rather than punishment. Pay attention to your child’s limits so they’ll stay engaged.
2. Keep it brief. As little as one minute of seated meditation can be an achievement for a preschooler, check out my Land of Sweets Meditation. Plan multiple activities so you can switch things around if your child seems to be losing interest.
3. Breathe deep. Focusing on the breath is an excellent starting point at any age. Ask your child to imagine filling their stomach and chest with air and then releasing it like a balloon. Check out my video here: Hot Air Balloon Breaths
4. Play music. Does your child have some favorite songs? Take turns singing different parts or ask them to listen for certain notes. Close observation is a form of mindfulness.
5. Take a walk. You can also meditate or appreciate your surroundings while you’re moving around. Go to the park and identify as many different kinds of flowers as you can.
6. OM Warrior Kids Yoga Series. Include yoga and meditation into your daily schedule. We incorporate yoga, mindfulness, and meditation in every one of our animated story videos.
7. Simple Meditation Cards. These meditation stories and activities are a great add-on to a young yogi's daily routine, so they can relax and focus while at home or in the classroom. Grab them here at OM Warrior Kids.
Sharing Relaxation Practices with Teens
With teens, you can build on the techniques designed for younger children and introduce some new lessons. Meditation may be especially valuable during these years as many teens experience depression and anxiety.
Share these strategies:
1. Increase time gradually. Keep in mind your teen’s interests and abilities. If they benefit from meditating, they may want to sit for an hour or more a day. Otherwise, you can suggest other ways to relax, such as yoga or working on hobbies.
2. Share experiences. Listen enthusiastically to what your teen thinks about relieving stress and living mindfully. Discuss your own thoughts and feelings too.
3. Take turns teaching. Give your teen a chance to instruct you. If you do guided meditations together, you could alternate being the one to do the reading and provide directions. If you usually do tai chi, let them know that you’d appreciate their help in coming up with new ideas for variety.
4. Search for apps. There are apps for relaxation and meditation, and many of them are free. Your teen may prefer something created for their own age group or they may be happy with a general program for adults.
5. Sign up for classes. If you’re still looking for something more, see what’s available in your neighborhood. Check events listings at your local library and other resources to find courses on meditating or gardening. OM Warrior Teens coming soon!
Children and teens can benefit from relaxation practices whether you use a modern app or an old-fashioned meditation cushion. Introduce your children to positive habits that can help them grow up to be happy, healthy and peaceful. Namaste.