Friday, May 10, 2019

Meditation for Kids: The Benefits of Teaching Your Child How to Meditate

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All about the benefits of meditation for kids and the reasons why you should teach your kids how to meditate.

I've read a lot of self-help books over the past year and meditation kept coming up over and over.

Then I attended a childhood anxiety workshop and again, meditation came up.

It was like the world around me was telling me, "Dyan, I think you should start meditating."

Okay, universe, I'm listening!

So, one night, I announced to my family that we were going to start a family meditation ritual/routine and everyone seemed cool with giving it a try. Honestly, it's been going pretty well so far (even if it did start off a bit rocky hilarious!) and we've been successfully doing our family meditation ritual for a month or so now.

But what are the benefits of meditation for kids, you ask?

Well, I'm going to tell you...obviously.

Meditation for kids: why you should teach your kids how to meditate

The Benefits of Meditation for Kids

1. It's a great self-regulation strategy for their toolbox

Well, personally, I'm always interested in giving my children different strategies and tools that they can implement to help them self-regulate. Meditation is just another tool for my kids to put in their toolbox.

2. It's inexpensive and easy to learn

Meditation is easy to learn! You don't need any fancy tools or equipment (just an app or website of guided meditations works perfectly fine) to get started with meditation.

And it doesn't cost you anything to give it a try. Unless, of course, you purchase a paid app or subscription, which we don't. We've done all of our meditations for free.

3. It helps promote sleep

Meditation is also a great way to help slow children down before bedtime. I know for my youngest, meditation makes him so relaxed that he sometimes falls asleep instantly afterwards. You can even use meditations specifically for sleep, but we find just the act of meditating is enough to make bedtime go smoother.

4. It teaches and improves a variety of skills

Depending on what meditation you listen to you, your child can learn a variety of skills like deep breathing techniques, positive affirmations, and how to visualize stories. It can also improve listening skills, problem solving skills, and help your child get better at following directions.

5. It boosts confidence and self-esteem

I love listening to my children whisper phrases like "I am strong and powerful" during a meditation. Although I am pretty sure I heard K say, "I am strong and careful" instead of powerful the other night...Regardless, the positive affirmations give a nice boost to a child's self-esteem.

6. It can increase attention and improve focus

When you meditate, you focus on just being still, quiet, and focused on the act of meditating. As you get better at meditating, you can gradually lengthen the period of time you meditate, challenging you to stay focused for longer periods of time. These skills will certainly transfer over to other areas of your child's life too.

7. It can reduce anxiety

It's not surprising that an activity - such as meditation - can reduce anxiety when it is teaching you skills like slowing down and deep breathing.

And, honestly, this benefit is one of the reasons we started teaching our kids to meditate in the first place. I attended a child anxiety workshop that suggested that meditation might be a good strategy to try as a way to help with my son's anxiety issues. We were totally game to try it out as we had nothing to lose.

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Meditation for kids: why you should teach your kids how to meditate