Everyday life is just so busy-whether you are 5, 15, 25, or 65. Our senses are constantly being bombarded by loads of sensory stimuli throughout the day, while we are expected to manage social, emotional, and cognitive demands on top of it. And that’s when things in our lives are going well, or, normally!
Sounds like a headache; it’s kind of like a brain-ache!
It’s for these reasons that I love the idea of meditation so much. Its a way to allow us to shut our minds off from the rest of the world temporarily, introspect and focus on ourselves, or simply attend to soothing visualizations of calming suggestions that facilitate a relaxed and decompressed state of mind.
For kids, adults can be fantastic facilitators of the meditation process. Meditation stories are a nice way to introduce the concept and practice, while working on focused attention, as well.
These stories can be played via audio, or read through a book or script. I have one script listed as a strategy in my new book, ‘How to Be a Superhero Called Self-Control: Superpowers to Help Younger Children to Regulate their Emotions and Senses’. http://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Superhero-Called-Self-Control/dp/1849057176/ref=la_B00HIU9ZGA_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452543213&sr=1-2
One way to tackle elements of sensory integration while incorporating meditation and subsequent emotional regulation is to adjust the child’s positioning while listening to the meditation.
Having the child lay on their belly on a ball/large stuffed animal (if they have the body control and core strength and stability) can provide for powerful vestibular input-but it is important to ensure that there are no contraindications for this (ie-ear infections, nausea, dizziness), and I would not have them sustain this position for more than a few minutes.
Other positions that incorporate sensory input, most specifically proprioception, include covering the child with pillows/bean bags/stuffed animals, having them squish into a tight space stuffed with pillows (ie-laundry basket), cover them with a weighted blanket, wrap or swaddle them in a ‘kid egroll’, etc.
Meditation is simple to implement and powerful in its effects on emotional and physical regulation.
It’s become part of the nighttime routine in our house; as my youngest tells me, pretty often before bed, “Our meditation stories give me good dreams and make me happy.”
Have a wonderful week!