How mindfulness meditation can help parents and children

Published by: LifeWorks,

Mindfulness and meditation may not be the first things that come to mind when considering parenting, but these practices can benefit your entire family.

In particular, mindfulness meditation may help children overcome their shyness, boost their attention span and improve concentration levels. It may even enable them to be more calm and creative.

“Mindfulness changes lives. It sustains kids’ natural curiosity and helps them engage more deeply with others,” said Michael Chaskalson, a leading mindfulness expert.

As a parent, you want the best for your children and mindfulness meditation may be an activity that you can share together. However, there are a few things parents should consider before asking their children to meditate.

What’s your motivation for teaching your child to meditate? If you’re more interested in creating a meditation practice for your child to meet your need for peace and calm, your child will pick up on this. Some practitioners say that it is impossible to teach mindfulness meditation to any adult or child who doesn’t want to do it, and in some instances, they can see it as a control mechanism rather than an activity that benefits them.

Do you practice meditation? As a parent, you might be surprised how often your child is watching what you do. Encouraging them to start their own mindful meditation practice may work best if you lead by example. As with most new activities some children may be resistant. Don’t force them to join you. Just plant the seed, water it occasionally, and then wait for them to join in.

If you need some help getting started, here are five things to remember as you begin meditating together:

  • Relax
  • Focus on your breath
  • Practice together
  • Follow an age-appropriate meditation audio program to make your meditation practice easy to follow
  • Enjoy it

If you’re a LifeWorks user and want more ways to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life, take a look at our Mindfulness Toolkit. You can find it on the Life section of the LifeWorks mobile app or by going to login.lifeworks.com.

Deborah Gray is a Services Advisor for LifeWorks. She holds a B.A. Honours Degree in Psychology from Strathclyde University as well as a post-graduate diploma in Occupational Psychology and has earned a Cosca Counselling Skills Certificate. A mother of two, she has owned her own business, worked as a health coach, and has delivered both parenting and mindful meditation courses. She is currently working to complete a post-graduate diploma in CBT and group work.

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