Meditation And Mindfulness For Children
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?
Suitable Essential Oils For Sensitive Kids And HSP’s
Choosing essential oils for sensitive kids and adults can be a challenge.
Selecting the right essential oils for sensitive kids involves quite a few considerations. Other than the child being sensitive to others emotions, noise, light, touch and sound, they can be extremely sensitive to scents. In-fact many sensitive and sensory challenged kids have a hyper sense of smell. So strong scents can be overwhelming and unpleasant. Many highly sensitive persons known as HSP’s also have health conditions which have to be considered when choosing the right essentials oils
How To Choose Essential Oils For Sensitive Kids
When choosing essential oils for sensitive kids It is important the scent is not too strong or unpleasant. If in any doubt start with very smaller doses. In-fact if you know the child has an extreme heightened sense of smell, start even lower doses than the recommended below. If your child has a specific condition it is vital to check the properties and contra-indications of essential oils. Ensure all essential oils are 100% pure and of highest grade for best results. NYR Organics is just one company. I would recommend Always dilute essential oils with an appropriate carrier oil or water, do not apply directly to skin especially on children, babies or infants. Only use recommended dose for specific age and do not use oils not suitable for infants.
How To Use Essential Oils For Sensitive Kids As A Massage Blend
Massage Blend For Babies: A dilution of 0ne drop to 15 ml carrier oil is the approx recommended dose for infants. But if your baby is sensitive I would recommend one drop to 20 ml. Once diluted in a carrier oil, essential oils can be used to gently massage your baby.
Massage Blend For Infants And Children 1- 6 Years: A dilution of 0ne to three drops to 15 ml carrier oil. But if your child is sensitive I would recommend two drops to 20 ml.
Massage Blend For 7- 12 Years: A dilution of three to five drops to 15 ml carrier oil. But if your child is sensitive I would recommend two to three drops to 20 ml.
Massage Blend For Adults: A dilution of six to ten drops to 20ml carrier oil. For highly sensitive adults four to eight drops to 20ml carrier oil
How To Use Essential Oils For Sensitive Kids In The Bath
Essentials Oils For Bath: For babies and sensitive kids it is actually much safer to dilute the essential oils into a water soluble vegetable oil such as glycerin. But can be added directly simply make sure you run the water and disperse the essential oils into the water.
For Bath Use Babies 0 – 12 months: one drop evenly dispersed in the bath water
For Bath Use Infants 1- 6 years: one to three drops per bath
For Bath Children 6 -12 years: two drops to four drops per bath
For Bath Adult Or Teenager: four drops to eight drops per bath
Safest Essential Oils For Sensitive Kids And Babies
Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia)
Lavender oil is extremely calming, useful for tantrums, exhaustion, overwhelm. Although sedating for most people some people find it more a clarifier. A great one for the family first aid kit as it is extremely versatile oil that can be used on sunburn, burns, bites, Also useful for anxiety, stress and depression. For kids it can be added to bath water, or used as a relaxing massage. For toddler tantrums or bumps a drop of essential oil added to water and then applied as a cool compress
Mandarin (Citrus Reticulata)
Mandarin is another extremely calming and soothing essential oil, helpful for colic, digestive issues and as a general uplifting but relaxing essential oil for sensitive kids. Popular essential oil for sensitive kids as it has a much lighter scent than most essential oils.
Chamomile is extremely soothing and one of the very few pure essentials used on young children eg, infants where it is used in very very low percentages so dilute, dilute, dilute. Relaxing, helpful for sleep, helpful for soothing sore muscles. It does have a strange aroma but the benefits powerfully out way the scent, can be blended with Lavender or Mandarin.
Popular Essential Oils For Highly Sensitive Persons And Sensitive Teenagers
Other than the essential oils above there are various pure essential oils that can support HSP’s in different ways. Essentials have various therapeutic, physiological and psychological properties. The oils below are suited more to adults and children over 12 years.
Bergamot (Citrus aurantium bergamia)
is a slightly uplifting essential oil which can be helful for anxiety, depression, negativity, shyness, stress. Should not be used for approx 3 hours before going out into the sun. Not suitable for babies infants, children, those with sensitive skin
a deeply meditating and grounding essential oil for HSP’s can help reduce insecurity, panic attacks, paranoia and nerves. More a masculine type of scent.. Not suitable for babies or infants.
is an extremely supportive essential oil for grief, sadness, attachment challenges, fear of unknown origin, rumination. It also has great benefits for the skin. Not suitable for babies or infants
Sandalwood is another ground essential oil, specifically useful for those emotionally sensitive, insecurity, listless, dread and worry. Not suitable for infants, bables or children. It has a woody masculine scent.
is an extremely relaxing essential oil that can can help reduce anger challenges, impatience, nightmares,rigidity, fear of people, guilt. Especially as many HSP’s are highly empathic and suffer from unfounded guilt, fear of others and people pleasing. Not suitable for babies, infants or children.
How To Calm The Kids Down At Christmas
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.
- Be A Calm Parent Or Carer: No matter if your carer, guardian or parent, if you aren’t calm, you can’t expect the child your caring for to be. Don’t let your child feed off your emotions. Learn how to manage your own stress, learn to meditate properly, learn to relax properly.
- 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.