The Zen Toddler: It’s Never Too Early For Meditation
I’ve spent many years living a double life. To the public, friends and family I was (and still am) a journalist, women’s empowerment, entrepreneur type of lady. But in the privacy of my own life I’ve spent the past 12 years as a meditating, holistic, healer, intuitive, scientist, and psychic type of lady. It’s been a really enlightening up and down journey to get where I am on the inside…to be able to develop this type of grounded relationship with my inner self. I always knew that whenever I had kids I would be introducing them early on to this “other” side of me. When I delivered my twin boys in 2012 the first few years were awesome but hectic and it wasn’t until recently that I was able to introduce them to some of my ways.
Now, when we go out places, while other New Yorkers are walking down the street rushing in their own zone, my four-year-olds are very aware of their environment. They acknowledge and thank the trees for providing oxygen, notice how bright the sunlight is, notice the colors or shapes of certain flowers. Our morning prayer/mantra on the way to school is “Thank you God for my life and for my family. I am awesome. I am powerful. I am a king.”
In addition to their morning mantra, about once a week I pull out all of my awesome stones (citrine, amethyst, rose quartz etc.) and allow them to touch them and observe the different textures and shapes. Then we hold hands and take deep breaths. Even though they can’t stay still for too long, they love touching the stones and are at least getting used to the concept of relaxing and being centered.
Check out some tips if you are interested in trying some:
1. Be an example. Teaching your kids tips on how to be more calm and balanced even in a stressful situation starts with you. They have to see that you are making an effort to do what you are teaching them. If you are new to meditation or relaxation techniques just be honest and tell your child you will learn and try it together.
2. Teach them how to connect with nature. Find ways when you are out and about to explain how important the sun, trees, earth are and how they are used in our everyday lives. For example, you can talk to them about water. Water is awesome because it can be use to bathe and cleanse, it can be use to cook with, you can swim in it etc. It’s just a way to get them to appreciate the natural world around them.
3. Create a meditation space. This can be a really fun and creative activity. Find a corner in a room and make a meditation area. Get a nice little mat or rug, make sure the space is clean and clear of clutter. You can even add the faux votive candles from the dollar store to create a zen space without the fire risk and you can add whatever decorative pictures or things you like.
4. Try meditation with a prize at the end to start. It may be hard to get your kids to sit still at first so you may have to use something to entice them. Make it a game in the beginning and see who can sit still the longest with their eyes closed taking big deep breaths and then have an end time after maybe about two minutes. Just explain that it’s a great way to relax especially when they are upset. Make sure you are sitting in comfortable clothing in a relaxed position. Every time you do it just increase the time by a minute or two so they gradually get used to the concept of being still to relax.
Have you introduced your kids to any zen like activities yet or do you plan to? What works for you?