Feel Fabulous Friday: guided meditations for children
When researching about teaching mindfulness to today's children, I realise how enlightened my parents were almost 50 years ago. We routinely sat silent for at least a minute before dinner each night. My parents taught my sisters and I the importance of slowing down and quietening ourselves before we began eating. It made a big difference to how we enjoyed the meal and each other’s company. It set me on the path of appreciating the importance of mindfulness; a gift I treasure and share.
This week, we look at guided meditations to help children, and adults, take notice of their thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around them. Research has shown that guided meditation can go a long way toward supporting positive outcomes related to emotional regulation, behaviour, attention, stress, and anxiety. In guided meditations, children are walked (or guided) through a meditation sequence by a facilitator or script. This can involve a group meditation setting with a live facilitator or it can be achieved through audio recordings, video recordings, a written script, or a combination of these.
The instructions and script below can be done in just one or two minutes. Perform this daily with one minute of mindful listening and one minute of mindful breathing.
1. “Please get into your ‘mindful bodies’—still and quiet, sitting upright, eyes closed.”
2. “Now place all your attention on the sound you are about to hear. Listen until the sound is completely gone.”
3. Ring a “mindfulness bell". Use a bell with a sustained sound or a rain-stick to encourage mindful listening.
4. “Please raise your hand when you can no longer hear the sound.”
5. “Now slowly, mindfully, move your hand to your stomach or chest, and just feel your breathing.”
6. You can help stay focused during the breathing with reminders like, “Just breathing in … just breathing out …”
7. Ring the bell to end.
Watch the video of Jon Kabat-Zinn explaining what mindfulness is and why it matters.