How to: Meditation for Kids
Author: Lauren Hunsberger | Posted In: Reflections | August 2021
It’s been a tough few years for all of us, kids included. Here are a few tips to help guide your little ones through practices that can help soothe their nervous systems, reduce anxiety and regulate challenging emotions.
- Find your happy place – We all have specific locations that make us feel more at peace—it might be a room in your home, a favorite spot outside in nature or a grandmother’s house. Have your child close his or her eyes and picture that place for them. Use prompts to have them visualize the way it looks, feels, smells, etc. Let them know that any time their feelings become overwhelming, they can simply close their eyes and travel to their happy place.
- Body scan – The body scan meditation is a common practice utilized in many types of mindfulness classes. For kids, it has the added benefit of teaching them about their body parts. Have them close their eyes and focus on relaxing each body part from the toes up to their head. Spend 15 to 30 seconds on each body part before moving up. This can be performed lying down or sitting.
- The boat ride to better sleep – Bedtime is a great time to incorporate meditation into story time. If your child has a tough time falling asleep, have them close their eyes and visualize a long boat ride across a calm body of water. You can prompt them into better z’s by describing leaving the dock, moving through the water, and arriving at a new destination. Walk them through each stroke of the paddle, and they will most likely doze off before too long.
- Emotional control – Children are sensitive and can often have big emotions that they don’t quite understand yet. When they are in the middle of displaying a strong emotional response, have them sit down and picture the emotion in their mind. Give it a color, size, smell and even name. This allows them to form a relationship with things like anger, sadness, and anxiety, and if they have a relationship with the feelings, they feel less scary.