Often clients who are enjoying mindfulness and meditation ask me how they can help their children to be more mindful and to meditate.
Noah, my 4 year old, loves meditating, proof that it is possible. He doesn’t do it for long but quite regularly he will sit still with me in the quiet.
You can’t force anyone to meditate. Least of all children. If you try and force them to sit still they will resist and become really fidgety.
Sitting still has to be something that they want to do and leading by example and making it part of everyday life is a great way to encourage them.
Noah sees me go to meditate each day and because of this he doesn’t want to miss out. So whatever you do make sure you fit your session in and don’t hide away, let them see what you do.
Even if they come in midway through your session be welcoming and encouraging. If you tell them to get out or not to come in then they won’t see meditation as a positive experience.
If they see you meditate and they decide that they want to have a go that is great, encourage them all you can and praise them for having a go, however short lived the experience!
Keep it simple and keep it short. Perhaps only 30 seconds or a minute to start with. Just sitting still is enough.
I find with Noah that he loves the novelty of sitting cross legged and resting his hands on his knees. He also loves using the timer on the iPad.
If your child doesn’t get the bug to have a go then don’t worry. Children are naturally quite mindful, even without meditation. They tend to focus on what they are doing in the moment.
When they are young they tend not to worry about what is coming up or what has already happened. They are all about what is happening now which is pure mindfulness.
For babies, baby massage can be a lovely way to add some real relaxation into their day. Their regular feeds also provide a meditation like experience for them.
If you find that your child starts to become a worrier as they get older, then making sure that they have the opportunity to simply stop and relax regularly is a great way to look after them and to keep them more mindful.
We all know how hectic life can become and rushing round is O.K. for a while but we all need a break, children included. Because children are constantly learning their minds work hard, so giving the some time off is even more important and has amazing benefits.
Last weekend Noah and I visited our friends Charlotte and Chloe and the children loved being in the hot tub for an hour. At first they played and then they chilled out. Just floating in the water and enjoying the warmth was enough to get them both present in the moment. Not a care in the world. Perfect.
So the top 3 tips are…
1) Meditate yourself so that you are calm and your child can enjoy a more chilled out you. This will also help your child to be aware of it as a normal and positive experience.
2) Give your child time to relax as often as you can, don’t be constantly on the go with them.
3) Relax about it all. Adding yet another worry to being a parent is totally counter productive so just enjoy being with your child every moment that you remember.
To get your meditation practice going get in touch and book in for a Revitalise Session. You will be amazed at the benefits you feel, even from the very first session.