Meditate with Your Kids!!!

I can’t recommend meditation enough for kids. Expecially kids who struggle with focus. In meditation we practice non-judgement and letting go of thoughts. The skill of turning the mind away from distraction and back to the chosen focal point is analogous to flexing a muscle. The more you practice, the stronger and more reliable it becomes, and it can be used in everyday situations.

Meditation has all kinds of great benefits beyond improving focus, like stabilizing moods, relieving stress, and even lowering blood pressure. So my recommendation is specifically to meditate with your kids so you both get the benefits. It is also a good bonding activity that can be naturally added to your bedtime routine. There are many videos you can use to guide you (links pending). I also suggest you debrief afterwards and discuss what you experienced. As always, be transparent about your own challenges and strategies for improving.

Explain to your kids before you start: The central idea is to choose a focal point like your breathing or heartbeat, and when a thought comes along to distract your focus away from the point, just accept that it is there and allow it to float casually by. Do not try to push it away. Do not hook into it and follow it on its path. Do not judge the thought as good or bad. Do not judge yourself for having the thought. Just acknowledge it and turn back to your focal point. If you do hook into it and get carried along, whenever you realize that’s what you’re doing, just turn back to the focal point and let the thought float away. Again, do not judge yourself for getting carried away. Let the judgmental thoughts float away, too.

Depending on the kid, it makes sense to try just 5 minutes to start with, and increase by a minute each time until you reach 15 or even 20. I like to lie on a hard floor because it adds the benefit of allowing your back muscles to fully relax, and because I can feel my heartbeat and I like to use that as a focal point sometimes. However, sitting on a cushion or low bench is the standard meditation position.

Usually meditation uses a mantra or counting to 10 repeatedly that goes in time with the breathing. The mantra is another good focal point. You can also meditate on an image. Anything you can turn your mind back to when it gets distracted. You can think of meditation like going to the mind gym and working out your focus muscles.

Let me know how it goes!

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