Meditation with a 4 year old …
I told FK I needed her to stay in the house, because her daddy and I were going to do our meditation and we needed to be very quiet. She said she’d rather not, because .. in her words, “It is SO hard to be quiet and still.”
I have wanted to include FK in this so much, but figuring out how to is such a challenge. She is 4, will be 5 in a couple of weeks. She is so driven and passionate in every single thing she does that slowing her mind down is a real challenge. (oh how I can relate!) I think it is wonderful that she embraces such determination in everything that she does, but I know that determination can also cause us to get stuck in our minds sometimes and that is when we really need to create a reset button to keep from driving ourselves stir crazy and to be able to see our best path. Meditation is a great way to do that.
The term “meditation” may seem foreign to many people and many may think it is only for some monk that devotes his life to this, not for ‘civilized Americans’ that have a 9-5 job and a family … or maybe some think it goes against religion, but I do not see it that way at all. For one thing meditation is much like prayer, so in that way it is right in line with religion. But it is more than one specific way of saying thank you, meditation is a way to find our peace again, and everyone needs help with that – especially ‘civilized Americans’. There are even studies now to show that meditation helps children do better in school and has health benefits <– proven through science.
I have known for a long time that I must figure out a way to help my daughter learn to do this, but have yet to discover how. She needs it now, not later. Her brain is hard wiring itself through every experience she has, I want to guide those pathways to be the ones she’ll be thankful to have in the future.
Well, if you read my last blog about the dirty socks, and putting myself in time out instead of my child, you will see that I am really striving to do a better job modeling the behaviors/emotions that I desire for her to have … and this meditation time is no different.
So my husband and I have been modeling what we want FK to do for a while. I’ve been doing it off and on for a few years, but only recently have Mike and I done it together and done it in front of FK. Before, I would have Mike watch FK and I would go meditate, but I am finding it much more beneficial to her if we do it together and she is invited, but does not ever have to attend the silent party. Plus my husband and I really need this for ourselves too. So we’ve been at it together for a about a week now and every day FK declines…. and then there was yesterday morning …
As my husband and I sat on the porch .. I hear the sliding door softly slide open. I look over and see two bright blue eyes dancing, framed by fuzzy curls scattered about. I hear a whisper, “I think I am ready.”
Oh my was I elated! I made a huge deal over this attempt of even trying to do this and I picked out a short, 5 minute guided mediation for us. FK sat the whole time 😉 Her little hands on her knees and eyes softly closed. I told her again and again how proud I was. She beamed with that same pride in herself for doing something that truly was very hard to do … because the fact is, it IS hard to be still, even for 5 minutes, it is very hard. .. but we can all do it, even my highly passionate, always on the move, brilliantly driven 4, almost 5, yr old daughter.
Now I do not know if she’ll choose to join in the next time, but I do know we are on the right track. I simply need to model it, I simply need to focus on being the best me that I can be – which requires meditation time for me – and she will, in her own time, mirror the stillness.