I decided to use the time between getting home from work and making dinner to do something a little different this evening. Meditation for children.
This idea started forming when my stepmother sent me this great link about pediatricians releasing new guidelines for children’s screen time. The article outlines the revised guidelines for how much time your kids should spend in front of a screen (TV/ tablet/ cellphone) and ultimately concludes that it depends on the situation, your family habits, rules and what you wish to do. In the article, there is another link to an online tool that helps you to create a little media plan for your family created by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Of course, being the keen bean that I am, I instantly created our family media plan and answered all the questions required. One question stood out to me: “By decreasing screen time, we will have more time for”, followed by multiple check boxes including: “Playing outside”, “looking at books”, and “being with my family”. There was a section to add your own recreational activity to which I added “Arts and crafts” which is one of Maddox and my favourite pastimes.
This topic sat on my mind for a little while and I thought about all the nice things Maddox and I could do together if we weren’t absorbed in TV or me with my phone in my hand. I had had a stressful day today filled with emotion and so the idea of meditation and taking a little time-out came to mind. The google machine helped me to find this YouTube video which was perfect to trial Maddox and my first meditation together.
As you might understand already from previous posts, Maddox needs to be introduced gradually to new concepts. Thats just his personality. So, I decided a little 5-minuter would be perfect for him. I asked Maddox to please turn off Netflix and accompany me upstairs to lie on the bed. I introduced the concept of meditation and being mindful and calm and he said he was willing to give it a go. I plugged my phone into the sound dock and turned up the volume. We excluded the imagery from the video (given the whole screen time reduction objective) and lay side by side on the bed. For 5 minutes, we listened to an Australian lady talking us through clouds, raindrops and butterflies. Short and sweet. It was wonderful.
I asked Maddox afterwards if he enjoyed it and what he thought and felt. His reply? He felt, “Calmed down”, “Happy” and had thought about “butterflies”. I felt the same (although I was a little distracted by the Australian accent) but for that little moment, it felt so amazing to be present and calm and to share that with my little boy.