How Can We Teach Meditation To Kids (and adults for that matter)?
There are so many different kinds of meditation, how do you choose which one is best for you? Figuring out how your brain works & what kind of learner you are could help point you in the right direction.
Why the sweet though?
Well, I think the world would be better (because people would be more grounded) if kids were taught meditation. They can’t be taught it the same way that an adult is taught because a child’s brain develops in stages & not all kids will be able to understand the depth of what we try to teach.
Overloading a kid can cause stress. The idea is to teach sharpness of mind - therefore efficiency in making a positive, healthy decision in how we react, that will result in good consequences for ourselves and everyone involved.
Kids like sweets, and I know not everyone likes to give their kids sweets (reduced sugar-options are available!) but I was thinking this can teach the same kind of discipline that something like vipassana mediation promotes.
If you give a kid a sweet that they normally like to chew, and ask them to see how long they can suck it for without chewing. They will likely focus at first, show off that they haven’t chewed it then the moment they lose focus, chew the Sweet then say “ohhhhh I chewed it!” Maybe with slight disappointment in themselves.
This is meditation!
The moment you take your mind off the focus, then the mechanical part of you kicks in. But you can bring yourself back to focus and stay in the game.
As the kid manages to sit and not chew the sweet, you can slowly progress them onto a harder sweet, that lasts even longer when not chewed. This will teach focus to the mind - exactly the same focus sensation mediation offers (think of body scanning)....bringing the focus inside yourself.
For me, this is the most powerful and effective mediation as I am an introspective type and that means I feel comfortable looking deep inside myself & facing what’s there - that kind of mediation works for me.
Some kids are more visual learners and this approach may not work very well, however I do think being very young and using a sweet is an easy way to get kids on board & teach them focus by bringing their attention internally.
While the sweet is in the mouth you can bring the focus to your tongue, palate, how often you swallow, if the sweet is getting smaller just by having it on your tongue etc.
When you start to notice these things and really pay attention to them the focus is drawn away from biting the sweet.
To be fair adults can do this too. Most people end up chewing then saying “oh shit I just chewed it, oh well” and keep on chewing. Actually, you can stop chewing and just continue the game.
Now you can really train the mind to refocus.
You must keep brining yourself back to the focus.
If you chew & give up how will you then learn to keep focus?
Welcome to Life By Equipe Lucia - our inspirational Pilates contributor, Mindfulness coach & DJ queen!
Lucia began her fitness journey through Martial Arts at the age of 17 and worked her way around a few disciplines. Moving into Aerial Skills (circus), she mastered the art of using physical training to strengthen the mind and used this to truly help clients reach their full potential in and out of the gym.
Having supported clients with injuries and medical conditions, she has a superb understanding of the body and also specialises in the management of Lower Back Pain.
Lucia is a dynamo chick, totally driven to get the internal strength gains for her clients. With this comes a boost of confidence, inner security and general certainty in the "I can" approach. Stott Pilates trained, Lucia has a strong focus on alignment, known for her precise, corrective techniques means anyone who works with her gets a new understanding of their body and its capabilities.
Lucia began teaching Pilates 12 years ago and is still fascinated in how the practice improves her clients' wellbeing, their outlook on life and a healthier, more positive view on themselves.
The future will see Lucia as a Psychologist working in research, exploring the synergy between mind and body, which fascinates her every day.