Expert Q and A: Making Meditation Child-friendly!

As parents, one wonders how many sleepless nights have gone by worrying about one’s toddler. We want the best for them—health-wise, education-wise, actually the best in every way. And that is precisely why meditation appeals to parents who have tried it themselves or have known its benefits.

But making your kid sit for meditation could be a little challenging. Let’s get some questions by parents answered by Versha Pragji in an interview.

Versha is an international teacher for the Art Excel Course, a course designed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for children in the age group of 8 to 13 years. She has molded lives for a happy future by bringing the gift of meditation to children. Let us hear how we can make meditation child-friendly, from one who has made it happen!

1 – My daughter is 10 and gets very restless during her mediation. As a result, she just gets up in just 4-5 minutes. How do I help her?

Firstly check your child’s diet. Often, children who eat a lot of fast food and processed food and drink carbonated drinks find it difficult to meditate. Also sit with your child and share with her the benefits of meditation and also make it fun family time; this will make her feel good and she will look forward to it and start meditating for longer periods of time.

2 – What role can I play as a parent to ensure that my child meditates regularly?

The best role is to walk the talk. If you meditate and your child sees how relaxed, composed, and happy you are, your child will also want to be like you and meditate. Being a role model to them always helps.

3 – My husband does not support my 11-year old boy doing meditation? He feels that it will not help him. And my son listens to his father and does not meditate. How do I convince my boy that meditation is good for him?

The one way I have found to make a child enjoy meditation is to first explain to them the benefits; I found that making them play a game and then making them sit for meditation works. Also, tell your son that if he meditates he will be able to pass his tests and be stronger and be more energetic when playing sports; this works for boys as they love their sports. And I also tell them that Sachin, the cricket player, meditates everyday and that’s why he is so good at what he does, etc... And this works all the time.

4 – My children feel that meditation is boring and throw tantrums; how do I make them sit and meditate?

The only way to make them meditate is to make it fun for them. You could meditate outside in the garden and make them aware of nature, etc. Relax them and guide them through meditation so they understand the benefits. Remember that children get bored very easily and their attention span is very short.

5 – What vital skills can children develop through meditation?

  • Focus
  • A calm state of mind
  • Good health
  • Creativity
  • Dynamism
  • A friendly nature
  • Better listening skills
  • Improved memory
  • Peace of mind
  • Happiness

6 – Can you give us a few tips on how to create a conducive environment for children to meditate in?

Yes. I feel that children are full of life and energy, and if we want them to meditate we need to make it interesting for them. And most importantly, we need to have teachers or facilitators who share a good rapport with the children. Making children aware that meditating will help the environment and create peace and harmony in the world apart from making them happy, will definitely make them want to meditate.

7 – Is it important to for us to help children channelize the positive energy they gain from meditation? If yes, can you give us some suggestions on how to do it?

Yes. By making them understand what meditation is and how it has a positive effect on them and the people around them. Tell them that it’s like a journey they will take that will turn all their actions into good merits every time they meditate; this will encourage them to want to meditate. Engage them in creative activities more. Also encourage them to do some random acts of kindness. It’s important to instill in them the feelings of love, compassion, and service right from childhood, and these naturally blossom when they meditate.