Meditation for kids
My children sometimes find it challenging to let go of the day and go to sleep. Sometimes they need a longer cuddle time or to talk about their day again or a nice bedtime story, and then the tiredness quickly becomes evident. But on other nights, the experiences and events of the day are more intense. Our little ones often find it difficult to relax and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
In our family, we have rituals to help us. We have different ones, which we often vary, in order to let things flow and base decisions on the particular situation, which is good for us. I find it important that children learn to feel what they need and express themselves. This trains their self-awareness and strengthens their self-confidence.
Our inspiration is as follows:
1. Lavender foot bath with seashells
A lavender foot bath with seashells, which we collected over the holidays. We put a soft towel or pillow on the edge of the bathtub, light a candle and allow my older one 15-30 min for herself. By this time, she already has her pajamas on and her teeth cleaned, so there is nothing else she needs to do before going to bed.
2. Talk about the day
Here we usually use the following questions, which I answer only briefly, so as not to shift the focus onto myself. Nonetheless, it is nice to share a little of your day with your children after work.
I always consciously start with the negative so that she begins by baring her soul. This question always reveals something. Sometimes just trivial things, such as someone did not want to share something, etc. And I like that, because she often asks me what I would have done and then we reflect on the matter together. If it’s something “bigger” or more challenging, then I will delve deeper and let her vent her frustration or cry, and simply hold her in my arms.
Here, too, I try to just listen and sometimes I ask how exactly that felt and where in the body it was felt.
Here I provide some inspiration at the beginning or answer first. It is important not to judge anything, but to let the child perceive things through her or his own eyes and to give her or him space to be able to express everything freely.
Who did you help and how exactly did you enjoy it? I think it’s important that the questions are simple so as not to overwhelming them.
In my opinion, that can be in general or can refer to the next day. I think it also depends on the age and personality of the child. Don’t be surprised if in the beginning you often hear answers like “sweets” or “no school”;)
3. Incense sticks and mantra music
We use Räuchermix Engel and Elves Demeter incense sticks because they are organically grown. I always let her choose a fragrance: Angel Protection or Peace of Mind. She will then use this to listen to what she currently needs and learn that she can give it to herself. We have a Buddha statue that you can place a candle in and the candlelight creates a soothing mood. We listen to a meditation CD from the Lotus Vihara meditation centre in Berlin. I have also listened to this before and during the birth of my son, which helped me relax. I always imagine that my energy has spread to the children and they quickly reconnect with the sounds.
I like to do a mix of different guided meditations. Sometimes also some muscle relaxation using Jacobson’s relaxation technique, according the mood and what my children need. Which they usually clearly express 🙂 Most of the kids are already in bed when I speak the meditation. Sometimes my older one wishes us to sit on the meditation cushions and use the singing bowl. The guided meditations last between 10 and 15 minutes. You can find a few of my guided meditations at the following links.