Kids are resilient. There seems to be nothing they can’t bounce back from, whether it be a collapsed sandcastle, a grocery store tantrum, or having to throw their favorite pair of shoes away because they’ve got holes where the soles should be!

The natural sense of curiosity, playfulness, adventure and exploration children possess is a refreshing reminder for us as adults not to take life so seriously. At least not all the time. Children seek to remind us of the importance of play, of leisure, of learning to live in the moment, enjoying each delightful surprise that comes our way.

And yes, while children certainly possess a dynamic buoyancy that is as contagious as can be, we should also keep something in mind. For all their whimsical, lighthearted antics, kids can also be quite fragile.

Kids Get Stressed Out Too

Children are as susceptible to stressors as their adult counterparts, they simply have a different way of processing their fears and anxieties. And while they may not have to contend with the stresses of adulthood, children have worries all their own. New classrooms, test taking, packed schedules, competitive sports, bullies, and overstimulation from the never ending barrage of media can all be viable culprits.

Stressed out kids may be communicating their distress in ways you’re not able to interpret. But rest assured, when a child is feeling anxious, there are quite a few signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for.

● Bedwetting

● Thumb sucking

● Stomachaches

● Headaches

● Social withdrawal

● Frequent crying

● Changes in sleep patterns (nightmares, sleepwalking, frequent waking, difficult falling asleep)

● Separation anxiety (clinginess, violent tantrums, refusal to be separated from guardians)

So, if you suspect your child, or a child you know is stressed, what do you do?

A Meditation for Kids to Try At Home

Meditation can be a powerful arsenal in your tool kit for dealing with stressed out kids. The best thing about meditation is its inherent flexibility. There are hundreds of ways to practice this ancient, healing technique, and plenty of approachable options that are perfect for children to try.

The body scan meditation is a form of mindfulness that many adults practice on a daily basis. In fact, it’s one of the first techniques taught by Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn in his mindfulness based program: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

But this technique can easily be adapted for children to try. It’s a great way to get them to focus on the present moment, and to become fully aware of their bodies. This relaxation technique can be practiced right at home, and it’s recommended that you try it before bed.

Tinkerbell Body Awareness Meditation for Kids
*Note, you can substitute Tinkerbell for any stuffed toy or character your child prefers. But in this example, we’re opting for Tinkerbell, so that we can utilize her magic pixie dust.

1. Have your child lie down on a comfortable flat surface.

2. Retrieve a favorite toy or stuffed animal your child enjoys. In this example, we’ll use Tinkerbell.

3. Ask your child to close their eyes. Let them know it’s ‘quiet time’ now, and Tinkerbell is going to help them relax with her magic pixie dust.

4. Hold Tinkerbell above your child’s forehead. ‘Sprinkle’ some of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust over their forehead, and ask your child to imagine the pixie dust falling over them. Have them focus their attention exclusively on the place where the pixie dust falls. The magic pixie dust is tingly and relaxing. Each body part that receives the dust will become more and more relaxed.

5. Next, have Tinkerbell sprinkle some pixie dust along your child’s collarbones and chest. Again, direct your child to focus on where the dust falls.

6. Continue in this manner, sprinkling this magical dust on different areas of your child’s body, having them focus on a single body part at a time.

7. By the conclusion of this meditation, your child should be quite relaxed, and hopefully ready for a long and fitful night’s sleep.

Meditation Equips Children For the Future

Meditation is becoming a more popular option for helping children relax. It’s techniques can easily be adapted for a younger audience, utilizing visualization techniques and different guided meditations that encourage relaxation and relief from stress.

Meditation for kids isn’t just a technique that benefits children in the moment. It’s an invaluable skill that they can take with them into the future.

Learning these meditative techniques at a young age helps prepare children for the stresses they will inevitably encounter as adults. By teaching your child to meditate, you’re not only equipping them with the resources to navigate the difficulties of childhood and adolescence, but you’re empowering them to develop into confident, capable adults.

Author's Bio: 

Founded in 2003 by Vishen Lakhiani, Mindvalley Academy is an online school for all the things regular schooling forget to teach you.

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