I have two young sons – one of whom has ADHD and suffers from anxiety – and I had decided recently (again) to introduce daily meditation. I have benefited from regular mediation and know that it has the ability to transform your life – so why not let them benefit from this amazing practice too.
Now kids are kids and to introduce them to meditation takes a whole lot of patience – believe me and that’s where I went wrong when the first time! I’d get frustrated because they weren’t doing it ‘properly’. But how do you do meditation properly anyway especially as you begin?
Basically there is no right or wrong way to meditation however you have to find the right way for you. So with heaps of patience and lower expectations this time (they aren’t going to be little buddhas after a week!), I introduced a daily meditation into by boys lives again.
I merely informed them as we began, that we would be doing meditation everyday before school and it was down to them how much they wanted to get involved. We would sit and practice and if they wanted to follow along then great – if not then whatever! (this lowers resistance because they can not resist something that they don’t really have to do!)
Day one was a write off which I knew it would be – it takes time to learn to sit still and focus and with a son with ADHD it may take even longer. I used guided meditation and took them to an amazing tree-house in the woods – my youngest loved this and the eldest? Not bothered.
I continued for nearly a week with some improvement. My eldest son realized around the third or fourth day that we were going to meditate whether he wanted to or not so whilst he was ‘there’ he might as well join in.
Today I got them to focus on the journey from the local shop to our home and to see how much of that journey they could remember. My eldest son was amazed at how much he could remember. My youngest focused more on ‘sameness’ i.e. houses, cars, roads etc where as my eldest saw specific cars, windows opened, a post box etc.
As I asked them to recount what they could remember I pointed out to my eldest son just how amazing his mind was to remember such details and how by using meditation he could begin to improve his mind and his performance on the rugby pitch too. He was incredibly pleased with his ‘performance’ and I can guess that he will be more willing in future to participate.
My youngest loves the ‘story’ and enjoys the whole process – and I pointed out that by continuing with meditation he could get even better at maths (his favourite subject) and that keeps him keen.
So by lowering my expectation of what my children could achieve in such a short time, plus, giving them the option as to whether they wished to take part or not, has ensured that the introduction of meditation as a daily routine has been a success this time around. Oh! And I have heaps more patience now due to my regular meditation.
Mediation is a must for anyone – regardless of time constraints – and if you are ‘too busy’ then perhaps you need to meditate more! Find time to meditate first thing in the morning before life takes over. It’s an amazing process and kids have a right to benefit from this wonderful process too.
So take time out to help your kids learn to control their emotions, to feel better about themselves and become more positive and confident – it really is worth it and what’s more it doesn’t cost a penny! If you child suffers from anxiety, depression, ADHD or is just a ‘normal’ kid – meditation can improve how they feel and help them put live into perspective.
So try it yourself first and share it with your kids. Remember they may resist so lower their resistance by telling them they can do as much or as little as they want and after a few days they will realize that they might as well join in!
Praise them for their efforts – to sit still for some kids is virtually impossible so realize this and make a point of motivating them through praise.
Lower your expectations – it’s hard enough for an adult to get into mediation and we have less energy! So understand that the first week won’t produce outstanding results but keep focusing on the benefits that your child will enjoy. It takes time to set up a new habit – but it’s a worthwhile habit which deserves to be given time.
Patience. Perseverance. Fun. Three important words. Keep calm, expect good results (in time!) and enjoy it!
If you need any help or advice about meditation – give me a ring on 07532110457.