Interested in introducing your little one to meditation?
Children as young as 18 months are more than capable of understanding meditative concepts.
If you already practice some form of meditation yourself, you can either choose to meditate around your child from the beginning, or if you are just starting out and your child is a bit older, you can save the meditation for when they are asleep, and just do some deep breathing exercises in their presence.
This could be as simple as taking a deep breath in your nose, raising your arms up over your head, connecting hands at the top 🙏🏽, bringing them down to heart centre on the audible out breath from your mouth. Repeat as many times as you like.
By taking a few conscious breaths and repeating this everyday at the same time you are giving your child an opportunity to see and hear a deep breathing technique.
By doing this around your little one in a peaceful and calm nature, ending on a visibly happy & relaxed note, it will model positive behaviours around your child (great at any age) and will get their wheels turning on why mommy/daddy does this.
The benefits are endless! Emotional regulation, emotional intelligence, acceptance, understanding, forgiveness, compassion, a mindful lifestyle are just a few quick ones that come to mind.
Children notice all the details. Watching their parent(s) take these conscious breaths, and walking away all smiley, warm and fuzzy will only entice them to try it themselves one day!
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has created an incredible book called A Handful of Quiet.
In this book he beautifully lays out the foundation of meditative techniques and how to introduce them to even the littlest of people. He discusses things like pebble meditation, drawing meditation and so much more.
Pebble meditation is perfect for a toddler because it gives them something tangible to hold on to.
In this version you pick 4 special gemstones, or rocks you found on a walk, or wherever they turn up! You follow his guide (pictured below) choosing 1 rock to be flower 🌸, 1 to be mountain 🏔, 1 water 💦and 1 🌌 space.
You can even change it up and designate each rock to represent a family member or friend, breathing in & out for each person you decide.
You could also identify each one as a virtue you might "need" that day such as patience or calmness. Breathing in and out releasing all that energy, while welcoming a calm moment in.
The ideas are endless!
For older children the drawing meditation is wonderful as you can open up into great discussions and talks about meditative practices or things like what we are grateful for.
For more meditative techniques with your little one, just ask! I would love to help bring this happy and healthy practice into your home!