Since 2003, we’ve been teaching adults how to help kids and teens practise meditation.
What’s interesting is the way that we adults (initially) approach the idea of teaching kids meditation.
- Some of us look for a ‘mindfulness wand’ that we can use (metaphorically speaking) to calm our children.
- Some of us want to analyse and dissect meditation; how it works, the benefits, why bother teaching it.
- Some of us think that it’s good for kids to learn it because we practise and thus try to teach our kids meditation in the same style/manner of our meditation practice.
The fact that you are even interested in teaching a young person these life skills (in our opinion) is amazing! The intention to offer this to young people is a gift and at Connected Kids, it’s our passion to leave this legacy for future generations.
But often we may attempt to teach children and find that either:
- the young person resists
- kids can’t seem to pay or sustain attention
- we get frustrated/impatient
- or we give up after trying once/a few times and don’t get the results we want.
What is missing is the creative energy that helps to create a profound, heart-felt connection between the child and the adult. This is one of the key gifts that children give us when we try to teach them meditation.
Adults are out of their mind
Most of us as adults have either had the creative qualities of our imagination taught or parented out of us. In society it’s not a quality we value, placing kudos only on the logical academic achievements that young people can attain. We don’t always value or try to measure the full value of their creativity and imagination.
We may also be fearful of our imagination as it’s fuelled with negative images or initiates challenging feelings. This can be as a result of what we experienced as children and had difficulty processing.
Or it may be the amount we pick up from the news/media, social media or entertainment that we absorb on a daily and weekly basis.
I talk about this in class as many people don’t realise that we have this natural negativity bias that helps us survive as human beings.
It’s our ability to scan the environment (not necessarily with full consciousness) to detect any potential threats.
The antennae of our nervous system is watching and waiting for a signal and if received, will activate the amygdala (smoke alarm of the brain) and call the nervous system into action with a fight/flight/freeze response.
While this is an amazing survival ability, if we are unaware of or get locked into this negativity bias, it can affect our perception of the world…leading our imaginations down a dark, sinister road (everything is a threat, there is no good in the world etc etc).
What I find interesting about showing adults how to teach kids meditation, is that they have to access their imagination in a safe, positive and playful way.
That playfulness connects to the energy of the heart and this is what helps us balance the logic with the creative approach to life. It helps us access solutions to problems. It helps us check in with the positive (as well as the negative) in life.
In other words our children (by their very presence of being here) are giving us (the adults) the opportunity to remember/relearn that we can be creative, imaginative beings and embrace life… from the heart.
What a gift.
Top tips on being more creative
So if you feel that your creative energy is a little bit stuck or non-existent… here are my top 3 tips of how to get things flowing again.
Observe your children – from the heart
As adults we tend to observe our young people with the logical, analytical part of our brains. The thoughts we have about them which can be fearful, judgemental, critical. Try to be aware that you are having these thoughts… then when you notice this, try to let those thoughts go with each breath.
Then take your awareness to the heart to sit within this and observe your children. You’ll ‘see’ them with new eyes and realise that they are in touch with the wonder and awe of this world in every moment.
If you feel your adult mind needs some training in letting these challenging thoughts go, try some mindfulness practice MHBLC >>>
Or if you want to try our heart centre meditation for free, you can do this by signing up for it via our mailing list.
Read some children’s books
Don’t do it because you have to (bedtime reading routine) but because you want to.
Let your inner child have access to the fun, playfulness and joy that you can find in children’s books. The magical mystery tour of an Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree, or the journey of a boy learning about the magic of the world during high school ‘Jim and the Universe‘… it puts you in touch with your imagination and sense of wonder.
Be spontaneous for 5 minutes
Try to have at least 5 minutes in your day where you allow yourself just do what feels right. Make a phone call to a friend you love talking to, draw/doodle, write down how you are feeling, play with your kids (with no need to be the parent), dance or sing to your favourite music.
Online Talk with Lorraine Murray – being more creative
Join us on our online talk – Improve your creative skills to help your kids/teens meditate.
Or are you looking to learn how to teach your kids meditation/teach professionally?
If you want some creative inspiration you can listen to one of our Meditation CDs for children/teens >>>
Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE on Unsplash