Slowing down is good policy. Mindfulness – or making ourselves more aware of our thoughts, emotions and immediate physical sensations – lowers stress, makes brains more resilient and helps us to moderate our emotions. Mindfulness is good for kids too. There is more and more research that shows how mindfulness can help children improve their abilities to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset and to make better decisions.
But, as every parent knows, it isn’t easy to get a kid to stop wiggling. Impossible, really. So is it even possible to teach meditation to a child? Turns out it is … if you don’t force it, stay positive and have a little help from essential oils.
The first step to helping your child engage in a mindful practice is to focus on what your child should be doing, not on what they can’t do during the time you’ve set aside. Mindfulness is noticing thoughts, what the body feels, what ears are hearing and anything else that is happening right now. I’ve found it really helpful to let my children choose their favorite essential oil blend and diffuse it during our “mindful moment” – just before bed. One child often chooses the simple relaxation of certified organic lavender essential oil. And the older child loves both certified organic orange and the rich calm ambiance of N8 Essential’s organic Focus blend, a satisfying combination of certified organic cedarwood, sandalwood and frankincense essential oils with a rich, woodsy scent.
Bedtime is a great time to introduce mindfulness to kids. We do a calming meditation in the evening before hitting the hay. We close our eyes and bring attention to toes, feet, legs, etc. It’s a relaxing way to return to the body at the end of the day. You can find several meditation scripts online (including body scans like ours), or you can just think of one that works for your family. Whatever you do, it should help kids feel calm, secure, and more aware of their immediate surroundings.
Mindfulness gives kids skills to develop awareness of their inner and outer experiences, to recognize their thoughts as separate from their body, to understand how emotions affect their thinking, to recognize when their attention has wandered, and to provide tools for impulse control. It will not completely get rid of normal kid behavior, but if you remember to use mindfulness as a chance to connect, cuddle and communicate, you can provide your children with an opportunity to add another strengthening practices to their emotional toolbelt.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.