Why You Should Encourage Your Kids to Meditate

Posted on: 30 September 2015

When you think of alternative wellness practices such as meditation, acupuncture, and yoga, you would probably only think of these for yourself and not for your children. But any parent's priority is to look after the wellbeing of their children, and so these kinds of wellness practices could be useful for your children as well.

As the meditation and mindfulness movement has shifted from something that only Buddhists do to something that can be practiced in a secular space for its health benefits, more and more people are integrating meditation into their lives as a regular practice.

Here are a few reasons why it should be part of your child's daily routine as well.

Stop the immediate gratification cycle. Unlike yourself, your child has been born into a world full of smartphone devices and tablet computers. People can't spend a moment without having their phones switched on and replying to messages. This is something brand new for the world and we don't know how this amount of screen time is going to effect the children of today. By teaching your kids to have one focus and patiently follow their breath, with no reward other than feeling the sensations of their own body sat on the ground, you can hopefully somewhat free them from this culture of instant online gratification.

Boost their brainpower. Childhood is the time in life when cognitive development mainly happens. Both at school and at home, your child is bombarded with new concepts that can be hard to absorb, and as a parent, you need to give them as much support as possible through this difficult time. Encouraging a meditation practice is one way of doing so. A study that tested the effects of meditation on college students found that those who meditated got higher grades, so imagine the head start it could give your child.

Improve their social ability. Childhood is not just a time when the brain is developing, but also when relationships form and social skills develop. Certain meditation practices, like loving kindness meditation, can help to foster feelings of empathy and compassion. Many parents will purchase a family pet to foster these skills in their child, but meditation can also work effectively.

Getting your child to meditate

Actually getting your child to sit still and follow their breath can be a challenge. Remember, that anything that is forced on your child is likely to be faced with some resistance. This means that meditation practice needs to be something they genuinely look forward to.

It can be a great idea to get your child to create their own meditation space in their room. They can pick out cushions that they love and create their own drawings about meditation they can put on the wall. You could also try meditating together as a way of making it a fun, family activity.