So What Are The Healthy Benefits Of Meditation And Mindfulness For Children?
Well sadly more and more children are suffering from anxiety, stress, depression and over-stimulation that is why mindfulness for children is now so popular. Society places a lot of pressure not just on adults but children and teenagers. More and more children are becoming addicted to technology, sugar and other unhealthy habits from a very young age. Unhealthy patterns that could seriously impact on the quality and potential of their adult life. Meditation and mindfulness can support a child in many ways, in-fact in many ways meditation can be your child’s best friend.
Here is some of the reasons meditation and mindfulness for children is extremely powerful
Meditation And Mindfulness Can Reduce Anxiety, Stress And Depression– Sadly more and more children are over-stimulated, over-anxious and depressed. Meditation and mindful activities encourage the body off the stress response into the calm response. A reason why mindfulness for children has became the latest skill in many schools.
Meditation and Mindfulness Calms The Monkey Mind– Children have an amazing ability to think quickly and grasp new tasks and activities, look at the way even young toddlers quickly grasp how to use your mobile phone or their own mini ipad. But the biggest challenge with children today, is focus. Like adults there minds quickly dart to different things, which often leads to poor concentration, a low attention span and the need to be aways busy. This is not healthy, this is what causes anxiety, stress and over-stimulation. Mindful activites and meditation techniques loosen the attachment to the monkey mind. And in many ways reteaches the child’s mind and body to calm down when it needs to. That is why it is such a popular self help tool for kids with autism, aspergers and adhd.
Mindful Activities And Meditation Creates Confidence– Lack of self-esteem, self-worth and confidence are all triggered and caused by our mental beliefs, by over-thinking. When a child learns to let go of these self-destructive tendencies they become more calm and confident. Your child recognises they are enough, they are not their thoughts. When we access a place of deep peace regularly we are more at peace with ourselves. I have witnessed many children with various disabilities and challenges completely change in attitude, confidence and ability through learning meditation. You would be surpised how powerful these skills can be when encouraged in a child’s daily life and way of being.
Mindfulness And Meditation For Emotional Wellbeing–We all have to go through different life challenges and emotional pain, but how we approach and go through is what makes us struggle or suffer. The powerful aspect of the right mindful and meditation tools is that they can teach your child to accept their pain, accept their emotions without judgement. When we allow our pain to arise and flow in acceptance, we reduce reaction, fear, destruction and denial. All of the things that create the biggest unhappiness in life. An emotionally healthy child is a happy child, a child who creates happier and healthier communication skills and positive relationships.
Daily Meditation And Mindfulness Encourages Healthier Sleep Routines–When a child is more calm and peaceful throughout the day, it is much easier for their mental, emotional and physical body to switch off.Many people are so focused on tiring their children out, they fail to recognise their is a huge difference between physical tiredness and mental tiredness. Mental tiredness is often mental stimulation and one of the biggest reasons children and teenagers don’t want to go to bed. With so much information and technology overload, many kid’s natural circardian rythm is out of sync. Programs that include meditation and mindfulness for children can encourage the mental and physical body back into its natural circardian state.
As someone who has meditate for 25 years and taught meditation to all ages including children for over 15 years I have been very fortunate to witness the many benefits and blessings.
Would You And Your Child Love To Learn Simple And Effective Meditation And Mindful Activities?
So what sort of healthy chocolate milk recipe options are there?
Well two of the main things you can replace that can make a huge difference is the chocolate for raw healthy cacao not cocoa and almond milk instead of dairy. With a few extra healthy additional options you can make this taste really yummy. It all depends on how sweet your child likes their milk and what they definitely don’t like. My own nieces and nephews love the recipe below, even one who doesn’t really like bananas was absolutely shocked there was a banana in this recipe and than it wasn’t technically real chocolate. But some people miss out the bananas and just use dates. It is totally up to you and your child.
Healthy Chocolate Milk Recipe
Well Healthy Cacoa & Almond Milk Recipe
1 – 1 1/2 cup of almond milk – To Make Your Own Almond Milk Click Here
1 x Large Banana
1 – 2 tablespoons of Cacoa Powder
A few drops of vanilla essence
Optional ( 1- 2 teaspoons of peanut butter)
Optional ( 1/2 teaspoon honey, agave or date syrup*popular with the big kids)
A few ice cubes
Simply blend all above except ice into a smoothie maker or blender and serve with a straw
Healthy Hot Chocolate
Well Healthy Hot Cacoa Drink
Blend all of above ingredients (except ice) to a warm pan (except ice), for kids just slightly warm obviously adults can have a lot warmer.
Note:Best to add the chosen sweetener at end, just as its warming and ready to come off the boil or heat.
Other Options- Healthy Choco Ice Cream
Healthy Cacoa Ice Cream
A dairy free chocolate ice cream alternative.
All of above recipe, simply frozen, you can also add some cacao nibs, nuts or extra crunchy peanut butter pieces
Let me know how you get on, I would advise you to try these recipes yourself and experiment to your own tastes before getting it right for the kids. These recipes are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, the main recipe is a great smoothie for on the go, for breakfast or for those afternoon sugar dips
Watch out I will be sharing more healthy recipes over the next few months perfect for highly sensitive kids and of course highly sensitive adults. Mean while check out my latest FREE Parents Guide – Supporting Your Sensitive Child
Do you have a Highly Sensitive Child? Thankfully medical research is starting to recognise the highly sensitive child or highly sensitive person. Especially with increased awareness and education on those with sensory process or those labelled on the Autism or Asperger’s spectrum, who are more visible as the highly sensitive child.
So what are some of the most common signs of a highly sensitive child or HSP.
The easily over stimulated child is often a HSP. Thus they are more easily stimulated; noise, visuals, smells, touch, movement and taste. For some the sensitivity can be so extreme, it can seriously impact their life. For example they may not be able to tolerate touch or find specific or loud sounds extremely painful, certain clothes too itchy or uncomfortable.
Dislike Violence, Horror Movies, many highly sensitive children will find even the slightest violence quite disturbing. They can appear very cautious or fearful in doing certain activities which may appear to have a risk such as climbing.
Irrational or irrelevant guilt is a common trait of the over sensitive child, due to their highly empathic nature and difficulty identifying their own emotions with others.
They tend to be people pleasers, often to their own detriment. Many HSP’s will go out of their way to be kind, please others as they don’t want to hurt others or cause conflict.
They will usually need more time out and alone. Highly sensitive kids and teenagers need more time to unplug from technology and other’s, Even if they appear sociable and talkative. They burn out and get over stimulated very easily. This can appear as high energy or fun to be around, but can often be over stimulation or over excitement.
The highly emotional child is often a highly sensitive child, many HSP’s are also highly empathic though not all. The Highly Sensitive Empath is often more likely put other’s emotional needs before them-self. In-fact they will often over identify or take on other’s emotional pain, especially as they find it difficult to set healthy boundaries. Which can seriously affect their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Powerful Yet Simple Life Tools You Can Teach A Highly Sensitive Child
Highly sensitive children need calm and respite from the over stimulation and information over load of modern life. As a healer, therapist and stress expert I have witnessed for many years, the huge benefits highly sensitive children achieve from learning meditation. Especially the right meditation skills and the right relaxation techniques. The right type of meditation helps one access inner calm and peace no matter what is happening around them.
Highly sensitive children who struggle and don’t learn how to harness their gifts and traits tend to really struggle in adulthood. The more we can learn how to love, accept and honour ourselves as children, the more happier and healthier we become. But if we are misunderstood, not given the support we need, not taught the skills we need we end up carrying those wounds into adulthood. That is why Inner Child Therapy has became so popular, why so many highly sensitive and highly empathic adults are attracted to Inner Child work.
Inner Child Work For The Highly Sensitive Adult
Inner Child work when approached the safe and effective way can be extremely helpful. But in many ways most inner child healing is about healing trauma so there is certain approaches that must be used. It is not something that can be approached lightly. As someone who has studied a variety of therapeutic approaches for 30 years. Not just different healing and therapy modalities but counselling, psychology, psychotherapy, archetypes and inner child work. I use a variety of safe and effective tools and approaches in my work to ensure my sessions and courses are safe and soothing.
Tools For The Highly Sensitive Child
The highly sensitive child needs to learn they are enough, the need to learn and develop self-love and self-worth.
The HSP Child should learn how to become more resilient to anxiety, stress and any form of over-stimulation.
Traditional meditation techniques can help the sensitive child or sensitive teenager find their own inner calm, own inner peace.
Guided meditations for sensitive children are extremely common as they can help encourage not just deep relaxation, but help them nurture a safe space within them self.
Eileen has worked with many highly empathic and highly sensitive adults, HS children, highly sensitive teens, kids with Autism, Aspergers and also many of their Empathic or Highly Sensitive Parents. It is just as important that the highly sensitive child’s family learn to relax and manage their stress as the highly sensitive teenager or highly sensitive kid.
Are You A Highly Sensitive Adult? Who needs to heal your Inner Child?
So how do you calm the kids at Christmas? Christmas is certainly a crazy time of year and is often anything but calm. Kids not only get excited about Santa or about spending time with family; grandparents or cousins. But are often over excited and over stimulated by the whole hype of Christmas.
So What Strategies Can You Use To Calm The Kids Down During The Festive Season?
Well the most important thing is to recognise what actually over stimulates your child or teenager. What over excites them and even what causes them anxiety or fear? Too much excitement can be stressful for the sensitive or anxious child, because their nervous system is much more acute.
Many adults want to relive the Christmas magic through our children’s eyes. But most children are far more over stimulated, over stressed than we ever were as children. So it’s always worth considering how your child naturally responds to the Christmas season. Thing about how they react to new events, surprises, change, basically things outside their comfort zone. It’s much easier to calm the kids down when you can cushion them from the impact of stressful situations.
Top Tips To Calm The Kids Down On Christmas Eve And Festive Season
Reduce Food Stimulants: it can be more challenging at this time of year but do what you can to minimise stimulants. Sugar, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, even fats can seriously increase anxiety, stress symptoms. They are extremely stimulating and play havoc on the bodies sugar levels and digestive system.
Reduce External Stimulants: Encourage some seriously unplugging and time out. Information overload and blu ray from TV, computers and mobile devices plays havoc with the brain. Especially the melatonin and the bodies natural circadian rythyms which is vital for good quality sleep.
Be Organised, Prepare and Plan: If your kids are going to be out for the day or away from there normal routine. Get organised and prepare them and yourself for usual challenges. Especially if your child is extra anxious or sensitive, for example have a plan that includes some healthy cushioning from the impact of the situation. If your child is going to be exposed to a lot of noise, stimulation or lots of processed foods. Have some strategies in place to make it as less stimulating as possible. A contingency plan is key for young or sensitive kids with aspergers, autism who struggle with noise, lights, smells… E.g. take your child out for a short walk or to another room for a rest or for time out. Bring things like a book or colour-in book or a less stimulating game that can be a more healthy or balanced distraction. Bring things like healthy snacks, earphones or comforter or lovable toy for young children. These can help soothe anxiety levels and encourage a sense of security and familarity.
Boundaries: As an adult you have to be the one that has clear boundaries that you stick to. It maybe deciding before hand how long you will stay or have your party. Clear boundaries on when your child has had enough to eat, drink, run about or when it’s time for bed. This in the long run can minimise a heap of drama, exhaustion and tantrums. Don’t be tempted to give in just because of the time of year etc. Christmas day, new year, family parties all play their toll on a sensitive or more anxious or stressed out child’s nervous system. In this state kids are often so confused they can struggle to recognise what they really need. Clear boundaries can help nip stressful or anxious situations in the bud before they get out of hand.
Holistic Aids: Holistic aids can be extremely useful for one off type of situations. Both lavender and chamomile essential oils can be soothing for some children. Simply add a few drops to their bath, check with children who are highly sensitive to smells. Here is an interesting article on the use of Chamomile Tea and Oil for ADHD. Lavender pure essential oil can also be added to a handkerchief and placed inside a child’s pillow slip. Rescue remedy for kids is a powerfully soothing flower essence blend which can quickly reduce anxiety, stress and fear.
Teach Your Child How To Meditate: Teaching your child how to meditate is a powerful life skill that supports children deal with stressful situations more effectively. Kids need plenty Rest, Relaxation and Repair so ensure they get enough good quality sleep. My FREE Guided Meditation For Kids can help your child relax, switch-off and set healthier energetic and emotional boundaries.
Solutions For Anxious, Stressed Out Kids And Their Parents
Sadly we are seeing more and more stressed out kids, children and teenagers more anxious and depressed than calm and content. Many struggle to fall off or achieve good quality sleep and most struggle to relax and switch off.
So Why Is There So Many Anxious, Stressed Out Kids Today?
Well there is a variety of reasons but one of the biggest causes is information overload from technology another is toxic overload from our environment, food and substances we take in internally.
There is also a major problem with modern day conditioning, where we believe we are more important or are of more value in doing rather than just relaxing and just being. Society as a whole is struggling to be present, struggling to switch off and move from that active, doing state to our more natural state of being. When a baby is born it doesn’t need to try to relax or be calm and content it just is. But with a world based on fear and distraction particularly stimulation overload, the child becomes exposed to more anxiety and stressful environments which trigger off the stress response. This is an inherit problem with sensitive children who are more sensitive to their environment or other’s emotions around them.
What Can I Do To Nurture A More Calm Kid Than A Stressed Out Kid?
Well the first thing you the carer or parent of a sensitive or stressed out, anxious kid can do is manage your own stress. Learn how to live your own life as a more calm confident parent. Kids and teenagers feed off of their parents fear, anxiety and stress.
The next important thing is teach your child simple but effective life skills that will help them experience more calm and peace. One of the most powerful yest simple techniques you can teach your child is meditation. Meditation helps a child stay centered, present and calm within them self no matter what is going on around them.
Another important strategy is encouraging them to regularly unplug and relax, have time out. So many kids are in a state of doing and I don’t mean just physically, I am talking about mentally and emotionally. Most kids playtime is full of distractions that overload the mind, such as their computer, xbox, their phone or ipad.
I will be adding a range of self help resources over the next few weeks to this site to support you and support your child become more calm and confident. Meanwhile check out my FREE Resources page for a free meditation for you and a free guided meditation for your child.
Eileen is a highly experienced coach, healer and meditation teacher who has studied healing and holistic well-being for over 28 years .
Owner of Stress Coach Training , Eileen is an anxiety and stress management expert who offers online training courses for coaches and therapists. Online Certificated Relaxation Therapist & Teacher Training, Stress Management 101, Meditation Courses, Empaths Tools Kit and Spiritual Marketing Courses For Coaches & Healers