Children are subjected to so many different stimuli in today’s world. All the gadgets and the constant activity leave them little chance to disconnect from the world around them. And just like us adults, they also need to calm down and to simply stop from time to time. That’s why an increasing number of studies show that a few minutes of meditation can bring many advantages to our little ones. Learning to control emotions and develop higher levels of concentration, self-control and empathy are just some of the benefits of practicing mindfulness at an early age.
As we know that it’s not always easy to get children to stop to breathe, here are some tricks to start fitting a few minutes of meditation into the daily routine of the mischievous little ones at home.
Our quietest moments are often those just before bedtime, so this might be the best time for your child to relax. First of all, the atmosphere in the room is very important. There shouldn’t be much light but, if the child likes, a little background music or even a lit candle can be good. Invite your child to sit comfortably or lie in bed. Then ask the child to breathe in while counting up to five fingers and then exhale for the same amount of time. Although seemingly innocuous, this small action really helps calm the mind.
Reciting a mantra can also be a great way to relax a child. To use this method, the little one must be in a comfortable position of their preference, sitting or lying down. Then the idea is to choose and repeatedly pronounce a sentence while sounding out each syllable with your thumb on your fingers, progressing from the index finger to the pinkie finger. The sentences can be chosen by the child. An example could be “I am strong”. You should start by saying the sentence out loud, then in a whisper, and finally just in your internal voice. This technique is good because it can be used in any place and situation where the child needs to calm down.
Looking at the clouds
This is a very simple and fun activity which can be done with children of all ages. To begin, the child is invited to look at the sky and see the clouds. But it’s more than that. The idea is to pay attention to their shapes and the way they move freely through the sky. Take the opportunity to ask the child what they feel during this activity. All feelings are valid in these moments.