When a child suffers from anxiety and stress it often manifests itself into behavioral problems. Meditating can help a child reduce the underlying stress and anxiety they are feeling. Proper management of emotional turmoil can help relax a child, giving them more clear thoughts, which can lead to less instances of bad behavior.
Children are very imaginative. For this reason, guided imagery is an excellent meditation technique for them to practice. To practice guided imagery with your child, find a place where you can sit quietly and comfortably together. Both of you should close your eyes. Lead the meditation by painting a visual picture with words of a place that is quiet, calming and still. Describe something like an expansive field of grass, a waterfall, or beach.
Learning how to breathe in a way that is calming is key to being able to meditate properly. Have your child close his eyes. Tell him to breathe in and out slowly while counting each breath he takes in and out from 1 to 10. Once your child reaches 10 he can restart if he does not feel calm yet. This method of meditation can be used in combination with other methods, such as guided imagery and mantra.
Have your child select a sound mantra that helps relax him and provides him comfort. Traditionally, sound mantras might be “hum,” “om,” or “ah.” Children may also choose a word that calms them such as the word “relax” or “peace.” Have your child close his eyes and sit somewhere quiet and free of distractions. Repeat the mantra word he has chosen with him over and over again until he is calmed and soothed. This form of meditation can be done alone or with the help of a parent.
Present Moment Meditation
Present moment meditation can be extremely useful on the go and it can help calm a child in a tense situation. Start by having your child focus on his breathing, taking breaths slowly in and out. Ask your child to focus on the feeling of the oxygen circulating through his body from his head to his toes. Your child should keep focusing on his breath and circulation until he feels soothed and calm. This method of meditation is useful because it can be done standing up, or in a relaxed position.
- Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images