I have meditated over the years, but never with much regularity. With three kids in the house, finding that perfect quiet spot is a challenge.
Several months ago, I read Susan Kaiser Greenland’s The Mindful Child. The book outlines a process of teaching children mindfulness techniques which, according to Greenland, will lead to calmer, kinder and more compassionate kids. It all made sense, but I hadn’t had a chance to try the techniques out on my three rambunctious kids.
This past week, my older son was almost brought to tears over studying for several tests. I realized it was time to try meditating with the gang to see if it would help relieve a little stress.
I downloaded the Simply Being app on my iPhone and started the experiment. The first night, I had two kids practice with me. As soon as my eyes closed, I heard giggles, snorting sounds, and then more giggles. My daughter jumped up, picked up our cat and started giggling some more. My son stretched his body out on the floor, twisted and turned. Through all this commotion, I breathed in and out and tried to tune into the soothing voice on the app telling me everything was okay just as it was. I am not sure what the kids got out of it, but I actually felt pretty good.
Later on that evening, my kids wanted to try it again. My daughter sat in my lap this time and for about a minute, I felt her body relax. No giggles. At least for that minute. Some progress.
All three of my kids meditated with me the next morning. (I had to bribe my 11-year-old with a promise of some Wii time after the session, but at least he was trying it.) They all sat quietly and breathed for a while. The energy in the room calmed down. It made me realize that if the kids used meditation as a tool, it just might help in times of stress.
This is only the start, but I am going to keep trying to get them to join me. I know that it helps me and I am curious to see how the experiment evolves. I will keep you posted.
Have you tried meditating with your kids?