If you have found ways to be more relaxed yourself, you may not have considered practices to help your kids be more relaxed. Have you thought about them joining you in meditating? You can imagine how stressful their lives can be too, especially when they’re trying to get good grades, make friends, and deal with changes that are all a part of growing up.
Of course it is almost impossible to teach your toddler to meditate for a half hour when they can barely sit still long enough to eat. However, there are age-appropriate practices to help your kids be more relaxed. It doesn’t matter where they are in their development, you can use these practices to help your kids be more relaxed from preschoolers to teens.
Find out more about practices to help your kids be more relaxed and develop greater mindfulness and relieve stress.
Sharing Practices to Help Your Kids be More Relaxed.
Even younger children and children with special needs can relax and focus if you use movement and sound to make it interesting. It also helps if you can be a good example by being able to reduce stress yourself. Your child will probably not be relaxed if they know you are impatient or frustrated.
Try these techniques:
- Make it fun. Be sure to present relaxation practices as a helpful tool rather than punishment. Pay attention to your child’s limits so they’ll stay engaged.
When I was very young I had a dance teacher (her name was Lisa). She found a fun way to help us relax after we worked so hard in our dance class. We were apparently pretty rowdy after the lessons were over.
I don’t remember much about the class, but I do remember how much I loved the relaxation exercises. My teacher, Lisa, would have us on individual mats on our backs. We would close our eyes while she talked to us very quietly about what we learned and techniques we can practice when we went home. When we opened our eyes after the relaxation exercise, there was a treat next to each one of us. Our teacher had placed a treat next to each of us while she talked to us. I loved it!
- Play music. Does your child have some favorite songs? Take turns singing different parts or ask them to listen for certain notes. Close observation is a form of mindfulness. and she would play really quiet music.
In my dance class, my teacher Lisa would play very relaxing music while should would talk to us about what we learned and how we can practice. She would tell us what a great job we did that day.
- Keep it brief. As little as one minute of seated meditation can be an achievement for a preschooler. Plan multiple activities so you can switch things around if your child seems to be losing interest.
When our dance teacher took us through these relaxing exercises in dance class, it lasted less than one minute. It was easy to stay still.
- Breathe deep. Focusing on the breath is an excellent starting point at any age. Ask your child to imagine filling their stomach and chest with air and then releasing it like a balloon.
In my dance class the teacher would have us breathe deeply several times.
- Take a walk. You can also meditate or appreciate your surroundings while you’re moving around. Go to the park and identify as many different kinds of flowers and colors as you can. Stop to smell the roses.
- Ask the teacher. Some schools are including stress management and meditation in their curriculum. Check on what’s available and see if there’s anything you can do to help.
My dance teacher was ahead of her time when it came to relaxation and teaching while meditating. It was easy to listen to our teacher about what we needed to practice because we were in a learning environment.
Our minds were relaxed and focused on her voice. If she was trying to tell us what she wanted us to do while we were eating treats and running around, she probably would never get us to listen.
Sharing Ways to Help Your Kids be More Relaxed – Practices with Teens
With teens, you can build on the techniques designed for younger children and introduce some new lessons on ways to help your kids be more relaxed. Meditation may be especially valuable during these teenage years as many teens experience depression and anxiety.
Share these strategies:
- Increase time gradually. Keep in mind your teen’s interests and abilities. If they benefit from meditating, they may not, however, want to sit for an hour or more a day. If this is the case, you can suggest other ways to relax, such as yoga or working on hobbies like crocheting, building things with Legos, or gardening.
- Share experiences. Listen enthusiastically to what your teen thinks about relaxing and meditation. Discuss your own thoughts and feelings too. Do you prefer breathing exercises with simply paying attention to just your breathing or do you prefer movement like yoga or tai chi.
- Take turns teaching. Give your teen a chance to instruct you. If you do guided meditations together, you could alternate being the one to do the reading and provide directions. If you usually do tai chi, let them know that you’d appreciate their help in coming up with new ideas for the sake of variety.
- Search for apps. There are apps for relaxation and meditation, and many of them are free. Your teen may prefer something created for their own age group or they may be happy with a general program for adults.
- Sign up for classes. If you’re still looking for something more, see what’s available in your neighborhood. Check events listings at your local library and other resources to find courses on meditating and relaxation.
Children and teens can benefit from practices to be more relaxed whether you use a modern app or an old-fashioned meditation cushion. Introduce your sons and daughters to positive habits that can help your kids be more relaxed and help them grow up to be happy and peaceful.
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