How meditation can help make families happier
24 Jul 2019 | Katlyn Peters
One in four parents feel that they don't get to spend
enough time with their children every day, owing to long working
hours, lengthy commutes and sheer tiredness at the end of the
Children, too, can find that their day is super busy,
with homework, gadgets and extra-curricular activities taking up
much of the little free time they have. If you would like to
increase the quality and quantity of your bonding time with kids,
why not meditate together as a family?
Meditation has many powerful
benefits, with recent research showing it is able to dramatically
reduce stress, boost mood and improve overall
well-being. Mindfulness meditation in
particular can teach parents and children to simply be in the here
and now, celebrating
the joy of being together, every single day.
Getting the Family
Excited about Meditation
Children and adults are motivated
by different things, so getting your partner and your kids
interested in meditation will most probably require a different
approach. Share a few interesting scientific facts with
A stressed partner, for instance, may be fascinated to
know that meditation can boost attention, emotional regulation and
self-control. Studious children, on the other hand, may be
delighted to learn that medication can
help boost their performance at school.
Meanwhile, family members who are already very
connected with their inner world, may love to hear about people who
have experienced a powerful spiritual connection while meditating,
which can leave them feeling more peaceful and distant from the
worries and stressors.
Building up the concentration
required for meditation takes time. Therefore, start small and make
it more about fun than achievement.
There are lots of great apps that
lead you through activities that last as little as five minutes,
such as Headspace, Calm, Breathe and 10% Happier.
All of these apps not only have meditation sessions of various
lengths, but also have targeted activities for anxiety, sleep and
The first session can involve simply learning the art
of controlled (or pranayamic) breathing. This involves inhaling for
a specific number of seconds and exhaling for an even longer time.
Did you know that controlled breathing
can help stave off depression? It can also stop an anxiety
attack in its tracks. Therefore, knowing how to breathe can be a
big help to children throughout their lifetime.
Meditation Activities for
If you have young children, it is
definitely worth investing a small amount in a dedicated children's
meditation album. Best-selling albums include Enchanted Meditations for Kids and Bedtime Meditation for Kids. These albums
contain various scripted story meditations with beautiful calming
sound effects, gentle music and the soothing voice of a narrator,
that is very relaxing for children and parents.
Try to find an hour during which
everyone in the house knows it is time to meditate. This will give
you the time you need to hone your skills and even to try out
different types of meditation. After your session, you will
probably find that you and your kids are more relaxed, centred and
content. Meditation can therefore be seen as a way to shed the
day's tensions and focus on the things that really make life worth
living - the people we love.
Katlyn Peters came
across meditation while trying to find a way to quell exam anxiety
at college. Since then she has used it at work, with her husband,
and now with their daughters too.