In this guide, we’ll discuss mantras for kids.
As a compassionate parent, you want your kids to be healthy, happy, relaxed, and well behaved. One way to get there is with mantras.
Mantras can help kids to develop positive mindsets. And by combining mindfulness with positive affirmations, kids gain a powerfull tool for mental health [read: teaching kids mindfulness exercises.]
But how do you explain mantras to kids? Just tell them that “A mantra is a simple word or phrase that makes us feel good.” And you can also read my guide, Meditation for kids.
5 Best Daily Mantras for Kids (Affirmations)
There are many mantras for kids. Affirmations are available all over the internet and choosing the right one can be a bit of a challenge. It depends on what you hope to get out of the experience. Let’s look at my favourite ones.
1: “I can handle it”
This one is all about helping your children to have positive self-talk.
I learned this one from Laurie Wright. It is one of the best mantras for kids’ wellbeing because it teaches them to think that they can handle any problem that comes along. It’s also good for helping them to find confidence.
“Om” is great if you are working with a child who struggles to focus.
Om is an especially important mantra for spiritual reasons (it is the sound of origin), but it is also one of the simplest sounds to make.
What to do:
- Create a musical game around “Om”
- Get the kids together.
- Use an instrument (or sing) to go up and down the musical scale (move up and down in pitch).
- Sing “Om” on each note.
- Continue for five minutes.
This is a simple and fun game that helps them to focus on one thing at a time. It will also promote better behaviour at school and at home.
Om is very relaxing because it produces gentle vibrations in the body that lead to calmness. For this reason, it is also great for calmness.
3: “Let it go” (with reference to Frozen)
Kids love Frozen. I mean, they really really really love it. And a lot of adults do too. Personally, I wasn’t too blown away by it (I’ll take Bambi or Bolt any day). But there is one part of the movie I talk about every week: Let it go.
If you’ve not seen Frozen, “Let It Go” is the title track.
Try using this song as a mantra for elementary school students—just use the “Let it go” part. These three words are perfect for teaching children to let go of thoughts and feelings and to live in the moment.
4: “Be the Pond.”
Read the story below. We’re going to use it to build a mantra for kids in elementary school.
A preschool teacher tells a story about fish swimming around a pond.
There’s a sad fish, an angry fish, an excited fish, a happy fish, and so on.
The teacher asks the students to close their eyes and imagine the fish swimming around them.
Then the teacher says, “Be the pond.”
Be the pond.
The first time I read that story I was extremely impressed by how poignant a story it is for children. It so perfectly illustrates the relationship between consciousness and thoughts and feelings. Concepts like consciousness and emotions are often expressed in grand exegeses. This story cuts straight to the point. And it is so simple to understand.
The pond lets all the fish swim within it. It accepts all things with equanimity. It is calmness and compassion personified.
WHAT TO DO
- Get the children sitting in a group
- Ask them to close their eyes
- Read the story above
- Ask them to open their eyes.
- Say “Be the pond”
- Remind them that they are the pond that lets all the fish swim freely.
- Ask them to recite the mantra “Be the pond” 25 times.
This is a beautiful story and an excellent mantra for children. It gently teaches oneness and compassion. Fun little stories like this can turn into great mantras for elementary school students.
5: “I am happy, I am good”
One of the best mantras for toddlers is what I call the “‘ lil’ yogi mantra”.
It goes like this:
“I am happy, I am good, I am happy, I am good.”
If the child is a little bit older you can add a little Kundalini yoga mantra to it, so it goes like this:
I am happy, I am good, I am happy, I am good.”
Sat Naam, Sat Naam, Sat Naam Jee
Wha-Hay Guroo, Wha-Hay Guroo, Wha-Hay Guroo Jee”
Benefits of Mantras for Kids
- Encourage positive behaviour
- Help them focus
- Brain health
Child and family counsellor Christina Furnival states that affirmations are “an incredible encourager for little ones.” Teaching kids mantras and affirmations is a great way to help them focus and to boost their wellbeing.
Here are some especially important benefits.
1: Confidence and Self-Esteem
According to the psychology of self-affirmation theory (Steele 1988) kids can improve their confidence and self-esteem by reciting positive mantras and affirmations. Plus, MRI studies show that activity in the prefrontal cortex increases when kids use affirmations.
The Salem New Age Center states that “a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will [help kids] achieve success.”
However, there is a science to mantras and they do need to be written in a specific way. They should be in the present tense, personal, specific, and positive, according to The Positive Affirmation Community. More on this below.
While science may have rebuked some of the statements in self-help books like Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret and Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich, there is nevertheless genuine benefits of positive affirmations for kids and they are an important part of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and Neuro Associative Conditioning, the system advocated by Tony Robbins.
A scientific study in 2009  showed that with affirmations kids can develop a positive mindset.
With the problem of bullying in school, it is imperative to help kids feel good about themselves and to overcome negative thinking patterns. One way to accomplish that is with affirmations.
Reading the guide in the link above will give you all the background information you need so that you can educate your son or daughter properly about sacred sounds and affirmations.
3: Fun & Happiness
As well as affirmations there are spiritual mantras. Some sacred sounds and affirmation are very musical. They have a pleasant melody that is fun to recite. The gentle repetition of a musical mantra is a relaxing and enjoyable activity for both parents and kids.
Science shows that humming tunes makes us happy. And the same is true for mantras. Humming a simple mantra helps the mind to relax and creates a fun little activity to do with your son or daughter.
4: Relieves sinus Problems
Amazingly, science shows that by reciting mantras, kids can reduce sinus problems.
One of the leading causes of sinus problems is that particles get stuck in the nose and other places, which reduces airflow and makes it harder for the sinuses to clean themselves out. When we recite sacred sounds, we create vibrations in the sinuses that help to shake those particles loose and to get things flowing again. This can help your little ones with everything from a cold to allergies.
The simple act of reciting or singing a mantra is a valuable meditative practise that helps to focus the mind.
Try humming to yourself for a few moments, and you will see how this works. Go ahead and hum. Notice how your mind gets drawn into the humming sound and how your thoughts fall silent? The simple act of humming quietens the mind and helps us to concentrate.
This is similar to a yoga technique called brahmari (“the bee”), a gentle humming technique, which is one of my favourite yoga breathing exercises.
Mantras work in the same way. The mind is attracted to the sound of the mantra. As we practice Japa, we enter a meditative state that boosts focus and concentration. This can be great for helping the little ones to study for school.
When you teach children mantras, you give them a quick and easy way to relax.
Science shows that vocal exercises like humming and mantras help to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation. Reciting a mantra is an act of discipline. It takes a focused and still mind to sit and recite a mantra. Children learn to focus on one thing and to be inwardly (and outwardly) still through these simple exercises.
I hope you find this truly helpful. Thanks for reading. Please share so other parents and teachers can teach mantras too. Thanks.
1: Wood, Joanne V.; Perunovic, W. Q. Elaine; Lee, John W. (July 2009). “Positive self-statements: power for some, peril for others”. Psychological Science. 2
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Paul Harrison, Editor, THE DAILY MEDITATION.
I try to use the theories mentioned