These days, it seems we always have to be “on.” Thankfully meditation helps us slow down, bring our attention to the present moment, and release tension. You might think of meditation as an activity exclusively for adults, but it turns outchildren also benefit from this age-old practice. That seems like the perfect excuse to spend time together as a family. But what’s the best way to meditate together? Don’t worry today, we’re breaking it down – we’ll explore the benefits of meditating as a family and share some helpful tips for how to establish a family practice. Let’s do this!
While it may initially seem overwhelming to add another item to your family’s never ending to-do list, this one’s worth it.
Meditating as a group comes with many benefits:
On top of all of those benefits, a group meditation practice is a great opportunity to spend quality time together doing something that will truly benefit and enhance your entire family unit. Plus when you meditate with kids, you’re helping them learn how to manage their feelings and responses to stress in a healthy way.
When it comes to children, it’s important to remember, “monkey see, monkey do.” Your kids learn by watching you, so build your own practice before trying to establish one for your family. Answer any questions your children have about what you’re doing and why. The goal is to show them what it looks like to be in a meditative state and how this practice is an important and impactful part of your daily life.
Pick a specific time of day that your family will sit down to meditate. If mornings are a hectic time, meditating before dinner or bed might be a good option. Alternatively, if you think meditation could set a calm, present tone for the day, consider setting aside time for a morning practice.
Choose a space that is quiet, cozy, and away from distractions. It doesn’t have to be a large space, but it should be big enough for everyone in your family to be comfortable, and ideally free from any distractions.
Children will likely need to be eased into meditation. Start with two to five minutes and increase the meditation time in bite-size incrementswhen your family feels ready.
It’s important to adjust your practice according to your children’s age. If your children are very young, your meditation practice might look like mindful movement—perhaps a short, playful stretching session. School-aged children may be able to stay focused and quiet for around five minutes, so try a short guided meditation. Teens should be able to participate in meditation for ten minutes or longer (on a good day!).There are many kid-friendly meditations available on YouTube and in meditation apps, which tend to be shorter in length and focused more on imagery -- way more exciting and relatable for the kids.
When you’re selecting a meditation be sure to choose one that matches the energy you’re seeking. For example, if you’re meditating before bed, select a guided meditation that’s geared towards sleep or relaxation. Want to help your kids improve their concentration? Opt for regular practices that promote focus.
Establishing a family practice will come with its ups and downs. Children, especially toddlers and younger children, may be very restless, but with practice, repetition, patience, and dedication…you’ll get there. And it will totally be worth it.