TEACHING CALM TO KIDS

Meditation calms, but when can you start teaching your child to meditate? The experts disagree on that one.

Picture of baby meditating.

Doing what comes naturally.

Deepak Chopra, Oprah’s guru, says a child has to be eight or nine to learn to meditate.  A great many people say start at three.  I say start as soon as your baby is born.  How? Read on.

PARENTING ADVICE AND TIPS

Tip one:  For babies start with what I call Shared Breathing.   Hold baby against your chest.  Breathe slowly and calmly. Baby, if calm,  will be doing the same.  Catch baby’s rhythm and breathe as s/he breathes.

Mostly likely, when upset,  baby breathes rapidly and with occasional gasps.  Stay with that for a  one or two breaths, then gradually instead of catching baby’s rhythm, with each breathe slow down. Usually, baby’s breathing will match your rhythm.

To add the power of Shared Breathing, rock a bit, and repeat a calming word.  Some just say “Shhhhh as they breathe out.

As the baby grows, use this whenever a child rushes into your arms for comfort.  

Magic? No, but often works to calm baby.  Hypnotists use this when trying to get you into a trance.  They call it “establishing rapport.”

Tip two:  As soon as baby starts talking. Introduce a short calming slogan. Lawence Lashan, author of the popular book How to Meditate,  notes that calming self talk and some sort of rhythmic movement lead the way.  So with shared breathing, rocking and a one or two word slogan.

Tip three:  Once your child has mastered language you can start teaching my Twelve Easy Exercises.  As each starts with Calming Breath you need to teach first.  Don’t know how? Opps. Here is where you can get a quick induction to both Calming Breath and  the Be With Beauty Exercise.  Be With Beauty is  great one to start teaching kids the Daily Twelve. Why?  Because life contains beauty every where.

Tip four: You know the mantra, “Want you kids to learn something, you need to model.  If you haven’t gotten either one or the other of my two lastest eBooks, now is the time.  Twelve Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises  or Self-Soothing – Create Calm in Your Life.   

Tip five: Teaching calming skills to the very young takes a while.  So be patient. Sset aside time each day for a bit joint practice.  Five minutes a day Practicing Gratitude, Being With Beauty, or Observing a Feeling will start your young child on the emotional fitness path.

Tip six: Have older kids?  Add one of the  Twelve to a family meeting.  Don’t have family meetings?  Sure you do, every you meet with a child that is a family meetings.  Eat dinner together? That is a family meeting. Drive somewhere in the car?    Perfect time to hold a more formal family meeting.  Scared of such meetings? Don’t know how to hold one?   Get my How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting. 

Tough sell to a teen?  Yes, however, life is full of meetings adults dislike attending but must.  In time adults will also have to run such meetings.  Given this fact of life, pitch family meetings as business meetings and  practice for adult meetings.  Make them a part of earning allowance and gaining priveleges.

Tip seven:  Here are another  resource for teaching calm breathing to children: www,AnxietyBe.Com .  

STAY STRONG

As always, remember what matters, enjoy today that is why it is called the present.  Indulge in some healthy pleasures, appreciate beauty and as always practice kindness by sharing and caring.

Katherine

TWO DISCLAIMERS

The first:  Although built upon evidenced based practices, there is no guarantee my advice is the right advice for you and your family. Experiment, try my tips; if they are not useful to you try another parent adviser. You are the expert on you and your child; the rest of us experts on many different things.

The second: I have dysgraphia, a learning disability that peppers my writing with mis-spelling and punctuation errors. All my books are professionally edited. Not so my blog posts. Although I use all the grammar and spelling checks, mistakes slip by. If they bother you, seek another source of support for life’s less savory moments.   Life is too short to let problems you can avoid annoy or stress you.

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