“ Our life is an endless journey; the practice of mediation allows us to experience all the textures of the roadway, which is what the journey is all about !!” – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
As usual the day finished and night took over. I planned to wipe over the hustling bustling of the day by tucking my little one to bed. Like any naughty young kid, he tried to test my patience by running away and teasing me. Already dead tired to the bones, I had no more energy or enthusiasm left to continue playing with him and since he was not listening to me, I shouted at him in a spur of moment, telling him he doesn’t care how tired mommy is and instead of helping mommy out, he is troubling me.
He suddenly stopped, scared and looked at me with his big brown eyes with a most innocent expression. He finished whatever I wanted him to do and finally we both laid down to sleep. I was feeling guilty about yelling at him, so I softly said “Sorry”!!
He turned to me and smiled and said “ Its ok mamma” and then after a couple of minutes of silence he asked “ why don’t you meditate mamma”? You know, bcoz you don’t meditate, that’s why you don’t have any peace and you feel like shouting. If you will meditate, you’ll be at peace and be happy !!
I was stunned for a moment to hear these words from him. My little boy, who is yet to step out into this world and understand the intricacies of life, had all grown up, giving me such an enlightening advice.
He helped me see a path. A path of being at peace with yourself despite so many conflicts. Its not like meditation is going to solve the problems but it will bring you at peace and you will be ready to accept the problem and find solutions to it, instead of brooding over it.
PC: The way of meditation
This post is not about what we as parents do wrong sometimes when we are stressed out. You will read lots of people giving advice, not to yell at your kids and multiple methods to avoid doing the same. I also don’t advice yelling but you are also human and sometimes it becomes too overwhelming and you give in to the stress. The easy targets are our loved ones and commonly our kids because we know they wont retaliate. And the same is true for our kids too as they grow older, they are under constant demands of life and because of stress sometimes they too shout or turn to aggression.
This post is about bringing meditation and mindfulness into your life so that you don’t feel overwhelmed at times of stress and take it out on your children and vice versa.
Lots has been written about the benefits of meditation especially on mind.
Here I briefly talk about how can you make meditation a part of your and your kids life.
Meditation does not have a defined set of rules, but there are some tips that can help.
The duration and frequency of meditating:
It can vary depending on who is doing it (age group) and how they are doing it (the technique). But, typically the following time frames are recommended:
- Preschool children: A few minutes per day.
- Grade-school children: 3-10 minutes twice a day.
- Teens and adults: 5-45 minutes per day or more based on preference.
So how to go about it:
- Try to incorporate deep breathing into your children’s daily bedtime routine—it can help them wind down for the night and make meditation easier to do when other situations arise.
- Remind young children and teens to take a few deep breaths before answering a question at school, taking a test, or before any performance.
- There are multiple ways to learn different practices of meditation. There are story books, audios, videos and even smartphone apps to help children meditate. Choose and practice the one that works the best for you and your child, and enjoy a calmer body, mind and spirit.
- Make it a regular habit: Practice meditation regularly along with your kids and see the struggles with your kids disappear. Schools have now even started introducing it as part of their curriculum.
But also remember that meditation doesn’t only mean that you have to sit with your eyes closed for a long period in uncomfortable positions and try to block your thoughts (sometimes it is difficult to make a young child sit for a few minutes even).
Meditation as per me is anything in which we forget about the complications of our life, be it music, art, walking, reading or any other hobby which holds your interest. For kids, it might be just those times when they are engrossed in an activity with a single point of focus, be it building a Lego, creating a drawing or painting, playing with a pet etc.
So our aim should be to continue supporting them in whatever way they like it while simultaneously trying to make it fun and interactive.
This post was slightly offbeat (there is no medical advice per se) from what I usually post but a general lifestyle advice for all the parents out there. In this age of stress, meditation is one of the most needed therapies which has the benefit of being absolutely free (can be done anywhere, anytime with no paraphernalia needed).
My champ showing me how to meditate 🙂
Meditation is now being medically recognized as a part of therapies for many diseases including cardiovascular and brain illnesses, gastrointestinal symptoms, obesity, headaches, high blood pressure, pain sensitivity, and immune function (though still not proven and trials are in progress). But as a personal opinion, if it brings you peace of mind then why not do it!!
The simple act of teaching children how to stop from the daily hustle-bustle of life, to focus, and just breathe and practicing it along with them could be one of the greatest gifts you give them in their life. So…….
Healthy Kids! Happy kids !!
Dr Garima| themoppetsclinic 🙂