Using Guided Meditation to Help Reduce Anxiety in Children
Adults are not the only one who experience anxiety attacks. In fact, anxiety among children is more common than you think. Trying to calm an anxious child can be one of the most difficult things to do as a parent. You may blame your parenting skills whenever your child has bouts of panic attacks but you have to realize that this will not help the situation.
Anxiety happens and the way your child’s brain reacts to a perceived threat has a lot to do with their behavior. One of the best things you can do for your child is to engage them in a guided medication. Read the tips below to help you get started:
- Before you start lecturing your child about the importance of being calm, make sure you practice what you preach. You need to have a deeper understanding on what meditation means and what it entails for both you and your child. Simply put, you have to learn and practice it before you can successfully teach it.
- Start with baby steps so you won’t end up overwhelming each other. Children have very short attention span so don’t expect them to sit still for 20 minutes straight. Start with a session as short as 3 or 5 minutes and observe how well your child is taking everything in. Be patient and in a couple of days or weeks, they will be able to settle for longer periods of time.
- Your guided meditation sessions need to be set on a specific time every morning or evening. You should do it before you and your child proceed with your usual activities (early in the morning) or once the chaos in the house has died down (before bedtime). Make it a point to stick to your schedule even if you are very busy. Consider the meditation as something you have to do no matter what like cooking or brushing your teeth.
- Make every session enjoyable for you and your child so you’ll both look forward to it everyday. Do whatever it is that will make the experience fun and relaxing. Play calming music or light some aromatherapy candles if that helps. Allow your child to pick out items that they think will help them relax. As much as possible, make them feel involved in building your refuge from the chaotic outside world.
- You can’t force your child to engage in meditation especially in the beginning. If you don’t know what else to do, giving them a little incentive won’t hurt. Partnering incentives with concrete goals often results to a favorable outcome. Incentives don’t always have to be material things, they can be something as simple as extra playing time with mom and dad.