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Benefits of Meditating with our Children

Meditation is a powerful tool that can help reduce stress, reduce muscle tension, improve your ability to organise and process thoughts as well as bring an overall sense of peace to your life. Having a consistent practice can also help build increased levels of patience and tolerance, this is particularly useful for those navigating the demands of parenthood. It not only benefits adults but everyone, including children. ​​Dr. Bryan Bruno, Founder and Medical Director at Mid City TMS, believes that “Meditation is one of the healthiest activities that a parent can do with their child”. 

In the book titled ‘Teaching Meditation to Children: The Practical Guide to the Use and Benefits of Meditation techniques’ by David Fontana and Ingrid Slack. The authors detail the many benefits regular mediation practice can offer children. Some of which include:

  • Improved concentration
  • Self-regulate and understand their own emotions
  • Improved sleep
  • Promote calm and relaxation

Regular practice allows the child to observe their emotions and thoughts rather than identify with them. This doesn’t mean the child doesn’t feel the emotion, emotions are important and guide decisions made at all stages of life, but rather the act of being still and observing provides a broader perspective, allowing better choices to be made rather than knee-jerk reactions.

In the early stages of development, children benefit from having this practice modelled for them. Just like any action children observe, the more they see it the more they recognise it and are much more likely to mimic the behaviour and actions. 

When a child reaches around 5 years of age they may wish to join you. It’s important to have realistic expectations, your own practice may look quite different from theirs - remember it has taken you years to be able to sustain that level of concentration. Also, children naturally have lower attention spans so short and sweet is what you are likely to see in the early stages. Also, as children naturally have vivid imaginations and are able to visualise scenes and settings they often do better with guided meditations. There are many guided mediation audio tracks available online, try a few and see which ones work best for you and your family. 

Having a ritual or routine works well for children as they like to know what to expect. For example, my daughter knows that after dinner we sit in the lounge and chat. Then closer to bedtime, we light a candle, place it on a mantle, switch on our guided mediation series (we are really enjoying 21 days of Abundance with Deepak Chopra) and then commence. Also, an unexpected benefit of listening to the same narrator(for us Deepak Chopra) is that my 4-year-old daughter feels like she knows them personally and sometimes quotes lines from the mediation soundtrack. 

My family and I have observed the benefits of having a regular practice, we’re less reactive and deal with situations more calmly. We feel an overall sense of peace and a greater connection with each other.