There are many reasons why parents might want to teach their kids meditation. And as an online meditation teacher, I’ve helped many mothers and fathers to get their kids meditating.
However, there are many things that you will want to consider before you teach your kids meditation. For instance, at what age should they start? What types of meditation are best for children? And just how exactly do you explain meditation to a child?
In this article I’ll help you to get your kids meditating. And you might also like to read my guide to childrens’ mindfulness exercises.
Here’s Everything About Meditation For Kids
Is it healthy for kids to meditate?
In a moment I’ll show you a specific meditation for kids. But first let’s ask the all important question: Is meditation safe for kids?
For the most part, it is safe for kids to meditate. However, it does depend on which types of meditation you teach them.
It’s best to start with basic meditations. For instance, it is perfectly safe for your kids to do mindful breathing. All that involves is focusing the mind on the breath. This will help your children to relax and will also focus their minds.
Most forms of mindfulness are safe. Mindfulness simply means focusing on the present moment. Your kids can do this in many ways, such as using a mindful coloring book or mindfully singing their favorite tunes.
However, you will certainly want to be cautious about teaching more advanced techniques. For instance, it is likely okay for teens to do meditations like Chakra methods and other slightly advanced techniques. But you certainly wouldn’t want your kids to do Merkaba or other highly advanced methods.
Stick to teaching kids easy meditation techniques. This is the safest way.
Also note that meditation can help children with certain conditions such as ADHD and Autism. But you will want to check with a healthcare provider if your child has a condition, and book a professional meditation lesson, which you can do with me on this very site.
How do you explain meditation to a child?
Normally when we talk about meditation we use technical words, talking about “non judgmental observation” and the effects of meditation on things like cortisol and the parasympathetic nervous system.
But that’s not going to work unless your kid is a science prodigy. So how do you explain meditation to a child?
Actually, the best way is to get your kids to realise things for themselves. And to do that, you need to encourage them to observe and describe things.
For instance, let’s say you want to teach your kids mindful breathing. In this case, you will want to ask them questions that lead them to observe things. For instance, you can ask them, “How does your breath feel in your body?” “Does your breath feel hot or cold?” And so on. Then, after they finish meditating, ask them how they feel. I’ve written a script below that will teach you how to do this.
When you encourage your kids to be mindful and curious, they will start to understand meditation for themselves.
What age should you start meditating?
There really isn’t a right or wrong age when kids should start meditating. Kids as young as two can do certain meditation techniques. It’s all about teaching them a suitable meditation for their age.
As a parent, you more than anyone else know what your kids can and cannot do. The trick is to find a meditation suitable for their age group.
For instance, a two to three year old kid can probably start practising mindful colouring. That just involves colouring a book while paying attention to what they are doing.
Kids aged around 4 to 5 can probably start mindful breathing and simply observing the breath moving around the body.
And teenagers can begin to do more technical forms of meditation, such as Vipassana, Zazen (Zen) and elementary chakra meditations.
How do I start my child meditating? [Script]
- Start by saying that you have a fun idea for you and your kid(s) to do together. Tell them that you’re going to take a look inside, a look at what’s happening in your head (point to your head) and your breath (brush your hands down your face and tummy.
- Now say, “let’s take a look” and close your eyes. Ask them to close their eyes too.
- Now describe your own breath to them. Say, “I can feel my breath moving in through my nose and down into my tummy. What do you notice?” Get your kid(s) to describe their breath to you.
- Now say, “I wonder what happens if I start to make a sound…” Start to recite the mantra Aum. Now describe how it feels. “I can feel the sound buzzing around in my mouth and my tummy. What do you notice?” Get them to describe how the mantra feels to them. For more on this read Mantras for Children.
- You should have taken about five minutes to do these two steps. Now open your eyes and ask them to do the same.
- Describe how you feel after the meditation and make it fun. “Oh. I suddenly feel like I’m relaxed and happy and like the world is quieter”. And get them to describe how they feel.
- This is a simple meditation that will encourage your kids to be more mindful.
There are many wonderful benefits of meditation for kids. It can help them to relax and to focus. And it can make them happier.
I hope you enjoyed this guide. If you would like to get more out of meditation, you can book a meditation lesson with me for both you and your children.
Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison