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A Parent's Guide to Meditating With Your Toddler

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A growing number of parents are looking for ways to share their tranquility practice with their children. Here are some wonderful benefits of meditating with your toddler, along with suggestions for how to get started.

Benefits of Meditating With Your Toddler:

  1. Spend time together as a family. Any time you spend with your child provides another chance to connect and strengthen your relationship. Children tend to mimic everything they see so they may already be curious about your meditation sessions.
  2. Help your child to focus. They may have limited attention spans, but they will gradually improve their concentration with practice. Start off small to avoid frustration. Do not expect too much too soon.
  3. Make time to relax. Short breaks will give you and your family a little more peace on busy days. Do you you battle over nap times? Try turning the TV off and sitting down together quietly. This will have a calming effect and may make it easier for your toddler to fall asleep.
  4. Take a more constructive view of time-outs. Meditation can help your little one view time-outs as a good thing rather than punishment. Try to sit down together when you are both happy. Your child might see how taking a few minutes to calm their mind makes them feel better. They may even resist time-outs less even when they are upset.
  5. Encourage lifelong health. Many studies confirm that regular meditation improves mental and physical health. You are providing your child techniques that will make life easier during adolescence and adulthood.

How to Meditate With Your Toddler:

  1. Be a calm role model. Little children are very responsive to their parent’s emotional state. When you display a tranquil mind, it is much easier for your child to feel secure and peaceful.
  2. Keep your expectations realistic. Most toddlers cannot sit still for very long. Expect to be quiet and still for only a few minutes at a time. You and your child will enjoy your sessions more if you make the inevitable distractions part of the fun.
  3. Open and close with a song. Pick songs with simple, cheerful lyrics that are easy to sing. It will help you both get you in the mood.
  4. Practice deep breathing and good posture. Learning to breathe correctly and sit up straight can be mastered early in life. Even small children can learn to breathe slower and from their abdomen.
  5. Buy some fun props. Even if your budget is limited, you can pick up some items that will arouse your toddler’s interest. Get a bell that they can ring to call you both to attention. Go shopping together and let them pick out a small cushion in their favorite color.
  6. Use simple mantras. Help your child choose words that will be meaningful for them. They may want to recite words like “peace” or “happy.” Make a game out of it.
  7. Visualize. Let them participate in naming people who you love including grandparents and family pets. Try describing an imaginary place or maybe even a garden filled with pretty plants, water, and rocks.
  8. Discuss your experience. You will both get more out of your sessions if you connect them to your daily lives. Talk with your children about how meditating makes them feel. Encourage them to make suggestions for additional activities.
  9. Look for guidance. There are many resources where you can find helpful instructions. Yoga studios or local community centers may offer classes geared for parents and children. Try finding books at your local library or search for websites about meditation and yoga for children.

Meditation is an effective way to help you and your toddler enjoy greater peace of mind. Start off gradually and keep it playful. You might be amazed at the positive effect it has on both of you.  

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Karen Ferrante

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