Bringing Meditation Into Your Home for the Whole Family
Updated: Apr 13
The benefits of meditation for adults have been proven time and time again, both through scientific studies and personal experience for those who practice it. A consistent practice can be your secret weapon to release your superpowers, or at least increase focus and remain more balanced physically, mentally and spiritually - which is a superpower within itself these days! After reading the long list of benefits, many of us have made consistent meditation a daily practice, but what about our kids? Can they benefit as much as adults from meditation?
The answer is yes, a million times yes! Children who meditate experience higher self-esteem, increased focus, better self-control, and reduced stress - just to name a few of the benefits of meditation with children. In addition, schools that have implemented meditation or “quiet time” in their curriculum have seen increased test grades, less bullying and more empathy, and increased self-awareness from their students. So how do we bring meditation for our kids into our homes?
Lead by example. Develop your own meditation practice and let your children know about it! I think we all know by now that kids want to do exactly what they see us doing. Allowing them to see you meditate sets the tone for them and gives them something to model their own behavior and habits after.
Prepare a fun meditation space with them. Make this space only for meditation and quiet time. Allow them to have some say in what goes in this space by letting them choose a meditation cushion to sit on or allowing them to choose decor that feels calming to them.
Make meditation kid-friendly and use visualization exercises. One of my favorite and most simple meditations for kids is the Balloon Meditation, here’s how to practice it:
Ask your child to sit in a comfortable position with eyes closed or lie down on their back with eyes closed, then you can lead them through the meditation with this script:
“Relax your body from your head all the way down to your toes. Begin to take deep inhales and slow exhales through the nose.
Start to take a slow, deep breath to fill your belly up with air, as if you’re trying to blow up a big balloon. Expand y
our belly as much as you can.
Slowly let the air out of the balloon through your nose as you release your breath from your belly.”
Encourage your kids to feel their entire body relax each time they exhale, each time air is slowly being released from the balloon. You can even make a “hissing” noise to encourage them to slow down the exhale even more, “Like letting air out of the balloon.”
Encourage your child to continue breathing like this for several minutes.
If your child is younger, you can add some more fun to the practice with these suggestions:
Ask them to think of their favorite color and picture a giant balloon of that color in their mind.
Then have them take a slow, deep inhale through the nose, filling up their tummies with air as if trying to blow up a giant [their favorite color] balloon. As an option, you can also have them stretch their arms open and overhead to represent expansion and the big balloon.
When their balloon is completely full, have your child hold their breath at the top, and then you can “pop the balloon” for them (gesture finger to belly) and they can fall down as they exhale.
Encourage your child to make meditation a daily habit by setting aside a consistent time each day for you guys to practice together. You can also use meditation or breathing exercises when your child is overstimulated or having trouble regulating their emotions. The more you and your child practice these meditation techniques, the more accessible these valuable tools will be to them, with or without you around to encourage them to use them.
~Bri Edwards, Integrative Nutrition Coach