A Parent’s Guide to Meditating With Your Toddler

A growing number of parents are looking for ways to share their stillness practice with their children. Here are some benefits of meditating with your toddler, along with suggestions for how to get started.

Benefits of Meditating With Your Toddler:

  1. 1. Spend time together as a family. Anything you do with your child gives you a chance to connect and strengthen your relationship. Toddlers mimic everything they see so they may already be curious about your meditation sessions.
  2. 2. Help your child to focus. Children have limited attention spans, but their powers of concentration will gradually improve with practice. Start off small to avoid frustration.
  3. 3. Make time to relax. Even short breaks will give you and your family a little more peace on busy days. If you battle over nap times, turning the TV off and sitting down together may make it easier for your toddler to fall asleep.
  4. 4. Take a more constructive view of time-outs. Meditation can help you present time-outs as a helpful tool rather than punishment. Sitting down together when you’re both happy will help your child see how taking a few minutes to calm their mind makes them feel better. Eventually, they may resist time-outs less even when they’re upset.
  5. 5. Encourage lifelong health. Many studies confirm that regular meditation improves mental and physical health. You’re helping your child get an early start on techniques that will make life easier during adolescence and adulthood.

How to Meditate With Your Toddler:

  1. 1. Be a calm role model. Small children are very responsive to their parent’s emotional state. When you develop a tranquil mind, it’s much easier for your child to feel secure and peaceful.
  1. 2. Keep your expectations realistic. Most toddlers live in a whirlwind of activity. Expect to be quiet and still for just a few minutes at a time. You and your child will enjoy your sessions more if you make the inevitable distractions part of the fun.
  2. 3. Open and close with a song. Pick any tune with cheerful lyrics that’s easy to sing. It will help you both get you in the mood.
  3. 4. Practice deep breathing and good posture. Learning to breathe correctly and sit up straight are great habits to master early in life. Even small children can learn to breathe slower and from their abdomen.
  4. 5. Buy some fun props. Even on a small budget, you can pick up some items that will stimulate your toddler’s interest. Get a bell that they can ring to call you both to attention. Go shopping together for a small cushion in their favorite color.
  5. 6. Use simple mantras. Help your child pick out words that will be meaningful for them. They may want to recite words like “peace” or “happy.” Make a game out of it.
  6. 7. Visualize. Take turns guiding each other through simple visualizations. You can each take turns naming people who you love including grandparents and family pets. Try describing an imaginary garden and fill it with pretty plants, water, and rocks.
  7. 8. Discuss your experience. You’ll both get more out of your sessions if you connect them to your daily lives. Talk with your child about how meditating makes them feel. Encourage them to make suggestions for additional activities.
  8. 9. Look for guidance. In most communities and online, there are many resources where you can find helpful instructions. Yoga studios and community centers may offer classes especially for parents and children. You can get books at your local library or search for websites about meditation and yoga for children.

Meditation is an effective way to help you and your toddler enjoy greater peace of mind. Start off gradually and keep it playful and you’ll both grow to love your “mommy and me” meditation sessions.

 

A Life of Intense Purpose

Hitting the bullseyeNot having focus in your life – a purpose or goal – does not serve you or others well. Aimless living creates frustration and keeps you from your true direction. This takes time and reflection. Spend time reflecting on what your hidden desires might be. Your passions matter in life – make sure what you do lines up with your true passions.

Finding Purpose

Most importantly – take note of what you love and don’t lose it. Letting go of your interests and/or passions can be detrimental. Knowing and understanding what drives you is so important. Use your gifts and talents in the best way possible and take note of how it energizes you.

Doing what you love or are passionate about is a way to re-charge your batteries. Make sure you focus on this area – we cannot live with dead batteries – we must recharge. Many people who are miserable have simply not found a way to recharge their batteries.

Surround all activities around your purpose

Find your purpose and then act on it. All that you do should be measured by how it supports your purpose or detracts from it. All actions need to be geared towards your purpose – everything you do can be fulfilling. If you find yourself doing a task that does not suit you well or drains you – make sure you stop that activity or delegate it to someone else.

Purpose in life can be to provide or to plan activities for loved ones. These are several examples of purposes in life:

Cooking - Creating and designing foods can greatly put you in touch with your creative and tactile traits – if cooking fuels you then delve in and cook. You are the boss; you prepare what you want with the ingredients and flavor combinations you choose. How you prepare the food directly relates to your family’s health and enjoyment as well.

Tidiness – Cleanliness is next to godliness – it makes you feel comfortable and happy. Washing clothes, cleaning surfaces, organizing your things, all make you feel connected and in control of your life. All you have to do is prepare and create the environment you choose. This affects health as well.

Movement – All movement moves you towards health. Encouraging your family and yourself to move and explore is one of the smartest things you can do. This creates a healthy mind and body. Having a healthy weight and outlook create a stronger family platform for your life and your family’s.

All of these activities are examples of things that add to your purpose in life. They support your purpose, drive, and goals. These things in balance do not detract from your purpose in life. Unlike laziness, over-eating, spending beyond your budget, and other negatives like these.

Negativity and doing things that do not build your purpose in life can be replaced with activities and choices that build you up. Make sure you are living out your purpose at your place of employment as well.

Planning or participating in social events can really affect your outlook and purpose at work. Being part of the bigger picture can help grow your interests at work. Start an activity group in order to plan for upcoming events and festivities at work.

Start living your purpose today. Live intensely, with passion, with purpose, with focus, and without things that hinder you and your goals. You will find renewed energy and passion for life and will be the best you can in your life. Go for it – it’s worth your time and investment. You are the best one to take care of you!