The world these days is so much faster than when we grew up just a few decades ago. With the wave of technology, the speed of our day-to-day has multiplied ten fold. Now, more than ever, we need to teach our children the importance of self care. We must condition them into taking the time to truly breath. I think it’s easy to agree that we all want our kids to grow up healthy and successful. So start now, regardless of their age, and teach them the value of staying healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. One of the best things you can do is begin teaching your kids to meditate. This helps create a habit and routine that can carry them into healthy adulthood. Here are four tips you can utilize to help make this process a success.
1. Set an example
We all know our kids follow our every move. They watch how we treat others, as well as how we treat ourselves. This a huge reason why we should share our own meditation practice with them, at least some of the time.
Invite them into your space. Guide them through simple centering techniques. You can start by asking them to exhale as if blowing up a balloon. Another option is to have them place their hands on their belly and feel the rise and fall of each breath. Keep it simple, and just invite them to notice.
2. Consistent downtime
Create dedicated space in your child’s day for quiet time. This time should be spent away from all technology. They can read or create art, but it needs to be done in silence. This allows the nervous system to be restored, helps sustain energy, and conditions the mind to be more adaptive and responsive to the complex environment where they must learn to thrive.
3. Include meditation in bedtime routine
Kids love consistency. They thrive on schedules and knowing what to expect. This makes meditation easy to add into their bedtime routine.
Children will quickly latch onto the place that meditation holds as it becomes a major structural component; just like teeth brushing and baths. Try guiding them through a simple body scan to bring awareness to their physical self. You can begin asking them to imagine a bright light at the tip of each toe, then travel up one leg, then the other, hips, belly, and low back. Then, continue up to the crown of their heads.
4. Create an intentional location for them
Help your child choose a special location to be their quiet space. This could be part of their bedroom, some place outside, or somewhere in another part of your home. Whatever the location, help your child set the intention that this is their “zen” corner. This is where they can go to feel safe, process emotions, and just have quiet time.
This will help teach your child that it is healthy, and even necessary, to have “time-outs.” All too often adults continue to plow through their days at an alarming pace. Having a “time-out” could make all the difference in our decision making processes.
It’s HARD raising children. There are no instruction manuals. We, as adults, are still major works in progress. We are continually growing and changing. We are imperfect humans, raising imperfect humans. Because of this, the best gift we can give our kids are healthy life skills. They are going to grow into adults, whether we like it or not, and, then, they will go out into the world on their own. Our only option is to give them a firm foundation in kindness, compassion and self-care. Meditation is one tool that will help you accomplish this goal. Then, keep your fingers crossed and hope your children turn out to be healthy, loving, adults.
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Moreover, views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Awareness Junkie or its staff.