This week’s article comes from KidCentered.com marketing partner (and social media expert and RN and mother of two) Audrey “Christie” McLaughlin. Enjoy!
Do you teach your kids meditation techniques? How do you help your kids control and let go of their emotions? Earlier this summer I shared some of my One-Minute Meditation techniques (check that post out here), but guess what?
Those techniques work really well with kids too.
My oldest daughter is 6 years old, and is just now able to start employing and enjoying meditation techniques. The one-minute mediations are perfect because they require a very short attention span. Her favorite is “peace begins with me” and I have been working with her to do that when she is angry or scared. Sometimes we use it in lieu of the time-out, and I’m finding it is more effective for her.
My youngest is 3, and she lacks the coordination to do the “peace begins with me finger technique.” (Although she has fun trying.) Simple deep cleansing breaths work best for her at this age. She will initiate the breathing techniques herself sometimes when she is angry, frustrated or even hurt.
Since school is starting soon, (on an exciting note the school has a moment of silence every morning for the kids to pray or meditate or just sit, which I am super excited about) I have gotten our gong back out. We use this technique before school to help release stress and worry. We began using it last year a kindergarten was kind of a rough adjustment for my oldest.
I want to share this technique with you. Here’s how it works:
Gong or chime (this is a picture of the one we have) we keep it near our foyer.
How we use it:
Before leaving the house in the morning I let one of the kids chime the gong once and we all close our eyes and I instruct them, “as you hear the sound fading away from you, imagine it is carrying all of your stress and worries away.” It takes about 45 seconds for the sound to fade completely. That’s it!
Another technique to use it is as a sound cue when kids are arguing/fighting with each other. When you hear the kids fighting you simply ring the bell and everyone stops until the sound fades. Often times that distraction is just long enough got diffuse the tension.
If you have kids old enough to understand, you can even let them ring it when they feel tension is high in the house. Maybe mom and dad are in a spat, or mom or dad and another sibling are having a heated discussion, this works in those situations also.
Cooking As A Meditation
by Audrey Christie McLaughlin
Yes, I really mean cooking as a meditation; eating can be one too! Meditation is not always sitting perfectly still in lotus position chanting, in fact, that is only one type of meditation. There is no recipe for the “right way” to meditate.
So let’s take a closer look at preparing food or cooking as a meditation and what that might look like…because the result is a delicious and healthy meal that is nourishing for the body and mind.
In practice, preparing a meal as meditation can be as simple as practicing a mindful awareness while we are cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. You can start by setting the intention of working through your tasks in a relaxed and serene way while following your breathing.
When you are prepping the food and cooking, do so without rushing. As you are chopping vegetables, breathe awareness into your body. When you are boiling a pot of water to cook the vegetables, pay deep attention to the water that comes from the faucet, appreciating the cleanliness, fluidity and abundance of the water. When you click on the stove notice the electricity or the gas flame that allows you to boil the water or cook your food.
When you look at your vegetable, fruit, or grain, see the sun, rain, soil, work, sweat, and time it takes to take that seed and produce the food in front of you.
When you look at the meat that has made it to your plate, think of the sacrifices of the animal and the farmer to bring it to your table.
If there is more than one person working in the kitchen, maybe your kiddos…encourage the same mindfulness in them and encourage as little chatting as possible so they may fully focus on the tasks you have given them.
Cooking as a meditation is as simple as doing it with a mindful and loving energy and awareness in the kitchen.
“Meditation” is a word that is often misunderstood. Usually, when we hear the word “meditate” we think of someone sitting quietly, legs folder, eyes closed, blocking out the outer world and creating a still mind. Easier said than done, right? But there are many ways to meditate, and they aren’t all quite so challenging.
Here at KidCentered, we have taught our children a number of ways to meditate, but the MindTime™ meditations for kids are our kids’ favorite way to meditate.
There’s something to be said for teaching children to still their minds, right? Yes, we agree. But the type of relaxed focus (like our MindTime™ meditations) helps kids to learn to settle themselves, and feel better equipped to handle life’s everyday challenges.
It’s a well-known fact that regular meditation carries benefits such as increased focus, improved personal relationships, stronger mental and physical discipline, increased ability to manage stress, increased productivity, and much more.
What you might not know is that we infuse energy healing properties into all our MindTime™ meditations, which further enhance the practice of meditation. This is done gently and operates in the background as your child listens to the audios.
Best of all, kids of all ages love MindTime™ meditations. In fact, we get many emails from happy parents who are enjoying the guided visualizations on their own, even when the kids have gone to bed or school.
We believe in empowering kids and parents to handle the challenges we all face: doing chores we don’t want to do, taking the time to do something properly, picking up after ourselves, doing necessary things that are physically or mentally challenging, cleaning, handling conflict and difficult people, and much more.
Have you got a MindTime™ topic you’d love to see featured? Drop us a line or post a comment here and tell us about it. You just might see your request show up in our next batch of meditations.