Author Topic: Encouraging kids to try meditation  (Read 299 times)

chin

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Encouraging kids to try meditation
« on: March 25, 2019, 12:10:04 PM »
Could use some advice here. I have a 12 year-old son and am very keen for him to attend a children's Anapana one-day course offered by the Goenka folks. But he seems to have a strong resistance to the idea, thinking of meditation as "boring" (obviously; did I mention he's a 12 year-old?!  ::))

So anyway, I don't want to use any sort of coercion or bribe, and basically want him to be convinced of the benefits to himself and try it based on his own motivation. Does anyone here have advice they could share?

stillpointdancer

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Re: Encouraging kids to try meditation
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2019, 04:34:45 PM »
Could use some advice here. I have a 12 year-old son and am very keen for him to attend a children's Anapana one-day course offered by the Goenka folks. But he seems to have a strong resistance to the idea, thinking of meditation as "boring" (obviously; did I mention he's a 12 year-old?!  ::))

So anyway, I don't want to use any sort of coercion or bribe, and basically want him to be convinced of the benefits to himself and try it based on his own motivation. Does anyone here have advice they could share?
Wait until he's ready. The easiest way to put someone off something for life is to try to make them do something at that age.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Middleway

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Re: Encouraging kids to try meditation
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2019, 10:31:29 PM »
Could use some advice here. I have a 12 year-old son and am very keen for him to attend a children's Anapana one-day course offered by the Goenka folks. But he seems to have a strong resistance to the idea, thinking of meditation as "boring" (obviously; did I mention he's a 12 year-old?!  ::))

So anyway, I don't want to use any sort of coercion or bribe, and basically want him to be convinced of the benefits to himself and try it based on his own motivation. Does anyone here have advice they could share?

I introduced my 14 year-old son to yoga. I practice with him early in the morning three times a week. During the asana, I taught him to focus on the stretch and count 15 breaths. And between asanas, he will need to complete 2 body scans from head to toe and back while relaxing each body part. This worked wonders for him. His attention/concentration has improved dramatically and he also remembers things much better now. Most importantly, he is enjoying it and sees the benefit of continuing. With video games and social media that greatly reduce span of attention among children (and adults) and causes bad body posture, practicing yoga would be very beneficial.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Warm regards,

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

chin

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Re: Encouraging kids to try meditation
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2019, 08:08:19 AM »
I know, which is why I don't want to make him do it. But at the same time I want to find ways to help him overcome his internal resistance to the idea so he'd be willing to give it a try.

chin

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Re: Encouraging kids to try meditation
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2019, 08:09:36 AM »
Wait until he's ready. The easiest way to put someone off something for life is to try to make them do something at that age.

Last message was in response to this one.

stillpointdancer

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Re: Encouraging kids to try meditation
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2019, 11:11:57 AM »
I know, which is why I don't want to make him do it. But at the same time I want to find ways to help him overcome his internal resistance to the idea so he'd be willing to give it a try.
As a primary school teacher in the uk I was encouraged to take assemblies and to introduce simple meditation practice as part of a multicultural approach within largely Christian acts of daily worship. The children, aged 7 to 11 yrs were very positive when I either kept to simple mindfulness of breathing or simple visualisation practice, such as walking through an imaginary garden. The majority enjoyed this kind of 15 minute assembly.

Have you tried this kind of thing at home, rather than taking him to a formal meditation place? There may be some on-line stuff for his age group that he could try by himself if he is not to keen on meditating with you. Peer group encouragement is always better.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: Encouraging kids to try meditation
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2019, 12:13:24 PM »
I've never succeeded in convincing anybody not just children to try meditation. What I do is try to encourage in kids activities that are relatively slow and calm, such as going for walks, just sitting and looking out of the window, watching birds etc, looking at the night sky, stuff like that.
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stillpointdancer

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Re: Encouraging kids to try meditation
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2019, 10:44:12 AM »
I've never succeeded in convincing anybody not just children to try meditation. What I do is try to encourage in kids activities that are relatively slow and calm, such as going for walks, just sitting and looking out of the window, watching birds etc, looking at the night sky, stuff like that.
Good point. It gets more and more difficult for people to stay still and just look. I came from a fishing family where we all used to go to riverbanks and canals to fish. Although I gave that up many years ago, the discipline of sitting with calm awareness for hours on end helped when I began to meditate. None of my family ever took up fishing or meditating.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: Encouraging kids to try meditation
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2019, 09:45:55 PM »
Quote
Good point. It gets more and more difficult for people to stay still and just look. I came from a fishing family where we all used to go to riverbanks and canals to fish. Although I gave that up many years ago, the discipline of sitting with calm awareness for hours on end helped when I began to meditate. None of my family ever took up fishing or meditating.

As kids, we spent a lot of time doing nothing, just looking out and sitting on river-banks too. 10-day retreats are a piece of cake for me. :)
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