Meditation for Kids

How do I teach my kids how to meditate?

I hear this question a lot. Every parent I know would love to learn how to teach their child or children these core skills:

how to pay attention and how to calm down.

This is how you can start! First step is for you to learn how to meditate. You are the role model, and I’m sure you are very aware how your actions speak louder than words when it comes to your kids. Plus, learning how to mediate will help you become better at paying attention and being calm, both of which are essential parenting skills. If you don’t know how to meditate, the therapists at Portland Mindfulness Therapy can teach  you, or at least give you some pointers to get you started.

The second step is to make meditation a game. Kids do not like to be told to be still or quiet, because they associate it with punishment or being forced to do something they don’t want to do.  Kids will not meditate if it feels like a chore or an obligation. So, always offer it as a game. This is how.

My favorite meditation game, and the favorite of all the kids I teach, is the slow race. The slow race is when you and your child see who can walk the SLOWEST across a room. I make it fun by being silly and enjoying the competition of who can be slowest. This is a great meditation game to use when kids need to calm themselves down or when they’re overwhelmed and distracted. The slow race will help them feel more centered and grounded. It will help them slow down. Again,  never use any meditation game as a punishment, and always keep it simple, lighthearted, and fun.

The slow race should last no more than 3 minutes. All meditation games should be brief so kids don’t become bored, overwhelmed, or frustrated. We want kids to be successful and to enjoy themselves as they learn to meditate. We want to help them win the slow race!

Teaching kids how to meditate can be tricky, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get immediate results.  Learning meditation takes time and practice. Of course, you can contact me at 503-222-2361 whenever you’d like. I’ll blog more on meditation for kids in the future, so stay tuned.

– Dan

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