In the times of a pandemic it is even more important to help our children to find common ground within themselves to calm any anxiety. Meditation is a great creative visualization tool, and a good place to start to create that calm. A meditative routine helps improve the attention span by creating balance. A child learns how to focus on what is within him/herself first, rather than on what is outside of themselves in their environment. That builds self-esteem, and self-esteem affords us strength to overcome adversity through the internal dialogue of silent communication.
Meditation, first and foremost, helps to manage stress. With this virus and the resulting pandemic, emotions are left unchecked and stress builds in crescendo. That energy extends itself to your child in subtle ways. Here are some ways to open your child to meditation, and you might want to join in the process.
- Set the atmosphere for them so that it is something that they will look forward to and make it fun by lending it a theme. For instance, I have a young client who meditates with her mom. They set up the end table by her bed with a Disney Lamp, her favorite rock, a special shell from the beach, and a photo of her dog. That became her sacred space to go to.
- Explain meditation to your child in the simplest of terms possible, and let them know that this is their quiet time where they can close their eyes and dream of magical places and think about their favorite colors, all while embracing their imagination.
- Have an object like a chime, a bell, a meditation gong and set it so that you have a beginning and an end, but make sure your child sets the timer and not you. That way, they are in control and it becomes something fun to look forward to. (Otherwise, they may look at it as a “time out!”).
- Change things up a bit and make different meditations to deal with the five senses. One session might be to silently listen, eyes closed, to everything around the child.; while another session might be focusing in on holding an object and examining the sense of “touching” during the meditation.
Spend some time meditating each day and your child’s understanding of meditation will grow.
Be consistent, make it fun, and do it together. Before you know it, your child will be adjusting to the outside stress and responding to it calmly, rather than reacting to it emotionally.