No matter how old we get, there’s always something we wish we had known years before; some secret that makes life so much easier but for some reason just didn’t click until it clicked. A lot of the issues we’ve faced and the way we live have to do with our early development. Most of us lived off of prepackaged food, we’d never heard of yoga, and meditation was some weird thing they did in India. Nowadays, spirituality is not only accepted, but people are drawn to it. We’re also holding onto our youth and good health by planning ahead and creating good habits rather than getting injections at the tender age of 30.
So now that we have all this great knowledge under our belt, how do we pass it on to our children sooner rather than later? Obviously what we put in our bodies is incredibly important, meditation has been found to quiet the mind and help us better deal with stress, and yoga is not only physically beneficial but it helps us to stay centered. Let’s try introducing these three elements first and from there we may find that more good habits naturally follow.
Help them to understand what they’re putting into their bodies and why…
Begin telling them early about the food groups, what different foods do for the body, and what foods hurt our body. It may be helpful for all of us to brush up on that food pyramid from third grade, especially now that we have a better understanding of how it works. Continue to keep portions reasonable and limit snacking. If your child is older and already has some bad eating habits, you’re in for a bigger battle but hold true, kids are not nearly as stubborn as we are, they will break the habit faster than you think.
Another great way to prevent bad food habits is to redefine treats. Rather than rewarding your child for doing something good with something that’s actually bad for them (see how confusing that is?), give them 10 more minutes at the park, buy them a coloring book, or set up a surprise playdate. Treats should be good things that reward and perpetuate good behavior.
Meditate, toddler style…
Meditation can be difficult for even the most advanced yogi at times, so for a high-energy child with a low attention span it can be nearly impossible. Luckily, meditation for kids doesn’t have to be so traditional. In our kids yoga classes and workshops we have the kids color mandalas as their meditation time. A Mandala is a symbol that represents the universe and balance, and usually is a circle with a simple or sometimes intricate pattern inside. You can download free mandalas and see how this coloring meditations works on our international site. Essentially, make this time relaxing and fun. Play soft music and just let them be still for five minutes, or as long as they want.
Teach them Yoga…
Kids move so much easier than we do. They don’t have years of stress and slouching to contend with and they’re not afraid to run and jump and take full advantage of their spiritual vessel. Yoga was made for children, and for adults to feel like children again. They don’t have to learn difficult poses just let them move, practice balancing and feeling strong, and let them laugh. We feature a pose from our deck of Magick Cards once a month that’s meant for children and easy for you to teach and explain.
This is all so much easier said than done, but it’s worth it. Imagine how stress-free life would have been had we all had these ideas set in place right off the bat. We are so fortunate to live in a time when these things are at the forefront and there is opportunity around every corner.