What IS “meditation” and two things to try with your kids before school starts

I am really not ready to think about the crazy schedule of a new school year. It’s still summer even though the clock is quietly ticking on getting up earlier, sports, and homework. Instead, what a great time to start thinking about a more mindful school year with some new tools to for your kids to excel and feel awesome.

Cole taking a little break from summer camp and water parks

What even IS meditation?

The word “meditation” might make you think of monks wearing robes, burning incense, chanting, long periods of silence and emptying your brain. Ommmmm. Not exactly very relatable for busy adults let alone kids these days. There’s really way more to it than that.

Meditation actually refers to all of the intentional activities you engage your mind in when you close your eyes and direct your focus inward. This can include visualizing, relaxing, manifesting and also clearing your brain (which happens to be the hardest for your average person, long-time meditators included!). While many people do meditate by attempting to empty their mind and listening to sounds of the ocean, most of us need a little more direction as to what to do when we close our eyes and our minds are moving mile a minute.

Practicing active mind exercises (mind tools like Box Breathing or the Sleep Elevator) can have positive mental benefits just like traditional mindfulness techniques do (like Zen/Buddhist meditation). These active tools give your child a game plan. When your kid is having a stressful moment they can use a mental exercise like Box Breathing rather than just trying to “relax”. This is in fact “meditating”!

I have found when introducing meditation to kids that the easiest, most understandable methods are the more active ones. They are typically more fun for kids too. So before the school year roars in like a lion, start to think about how you want it to look and feel for your kids and at home.

Two easy things to try before the school year starts:

Let them dip their toe into using their brains in a different way that does not require a battery charge or a password! Join the Next in Mind mailing list to stay looped in with all of the new mind tools coming for the school year.