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The practices of meditation has been in existence for longer than we have had records, but it is only in recent times that the mainstream population have started to take notice of it. There is much documented evidence on the beneficial effects of meditation on the mind and body and it is not only good for adults – it is also good for children:
A University of California, Los Angeles study found second- and third-graders who practiced “mindful” meditation techniques for 30 minutes twice a week for eight weeks had improved behavior and scored higher on tests requiring memory, attention and focus than the nonmeditators.
Another study of more than 3,000 children in the San Francisco Unified School District found a dramatic improvement in math test scores and overall academic performance among students who practiced transcendental meditation, a form of mediation that promotes relaxation and “an awakening” of the mind. The study also found a decrease in student suspensions, expulsions and dropout rates.
And other recent studies have demonstrated the ability of “mindfulness” techniques, especially those used in meditation, yoga and tai chi, to reduce impulsiveness, control emotions and ease stress.ABC News
How do you teach a child to meditate?
An easy way to get started is to use guided imagery.
I first heard about Melissa Dormoy and Shambala Kids when I was looking for RBE resources for children on imaging, meditation, and relaxation. Since then, we have regularly used Shambala Kids recordings to help the boys learn to meditate because there has been a lot of documented evidence of the benefits.
When Melissa released her book – Imagine That! A Guided Imagery Story and we were inspired to find more resources on guided imagery for helping children learn to regulate their emotions, manage stress, and reduce anxiety.
Go on a different adventure every night in your mind using your imagination and learn the foundation of living a loving, happy life! In this thoughtful, heart-warming book, children are taught the importance of feeling gratitude, being kind, forgiveness, following inner wisdom, the power of affirmations, laughter, and self-worth.
A large guided imagery section is included to accompany each powerful yet simply explained life lesson.
At a 2nd-grade reading level or above, your child will be able to read the beautiful life lessons at the beginning of the storybook by him or herself. The guided imagery section in the second half of the book is created for adults to read to the children.
Certified Hypnotherapist specializing in Guided Imagery, teacher and author of over 30 CD titles, Mellisa Dormoy is a consulting hypnotherapist and the founder of ShambalaKids which promotes meditation, mindfulness and guided imagery for kids and teens. Her CD lines and programs include relaxation CDs on topics such as kids’ self-esteem, teen stress management, specialty programs in children’s ADHD and parental self-care.
Mellisa also trains teachers and entrepreneurs in Children’s Relaxation Class Techniques and Teen Mindfulness Coaching. She contributes to the online publication Green Children Magazine since 2013, writing articles on kids’ relaxation and creating guided imagery scripts. She also contributed to Joe Vitale’s book, The Midas Touch: The World’s Leading Experts Reveal Their Top Secrets to Winning Big in Business & Life released in April, 2015 in which she discusses the power of the subconscious mind.
Mellisa holds a BA in Psychology from Excelsior College in NY, graduate credits from La Sorbonne University in Paris, and numerous specialized certifications including pediatric hypnosis, guided imagery, regression therapy and stress reduction.
More Books on Guided Imagery for Children
The ability to relax is an essential skill in our hectic world today. Kids are shuttled from home to school to after school activities and home again, often without transition time or down time. We hope that children can lead happy, relaxed, and calm lives, but often we neither teach them how to do this nor do we lead by example.
This book provides stories to help children learn to calm their bodies and relax their minds. Wildly imaginative and whimsically joyful, Carolyn Clarke’s guide is a wonderful tool for children to learn that the most important spaces in life are often the quiet moments in between. The stories and illustrations contained in this volume help children learn to calm themselves and release the tension of their lives in a positive, healing manner. A child’s ability to consciously relax their body and clear their mind can help address a myriad of issues, such as anxiety, stress, and excessive worry; sleep disorders, nightmares, and fear of the dark at bedtime; anger issues; focus and concentration issues; special needs, including ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, autism, and OCD; depression; low self-esteem; grief; and life changes such as moving, divorce, or changing schools.
Opening up worlds and universes with evocative stories and vivid details that simultaneously calm the mind, body and spirit, Clarke’s debut is an extraordinary aid to help children not only tap into their inner calm, but to expand their imagination to its outer limits—and beyond. Intended as a tool to use with the children in your life, it is so much more: it is a skill that they can use for the rest of their lives to improve, enhance, and maximize their quality of life. Unlike any other book of its kind, Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids is the greatest gift you can give your child.
Indigo Dreams: Relaxation and Stress Management Bedtime Stories for Children, Improve Sleep, Manage Stress and Anxiety
Indigo Dreams is a 60-minute relaxation audio book designed to entertain your child while introducing them to relaxation and stress management techniques. Four unique bedtime or naptime stories incorporate breathing, visualizations, progressive muscle relaxation, and affirmations. These are the same self-calming techniques recommended for adults but presented in a fun, interactive format that appeals to children. Children follow the characters along as they learn diaphragmatic breathing with A Boy and a Bear, make positive statements with The Affirmation Web, visualize with A Boy and a Turtle, and use progressive muscle relaxation with The Goodnight Caterpillar. All four of these stories are also available as mp3 downloads, paperbacks, and eBooks.
Indigo Dream s shorter stories are perfect for shorter attention spans and beginners. The story lengths range from 6 to 10 minutes. Each story introduces a different relaxation technique that children can use to relax, self-soothe, build self-esteem, and improve sleep. Female narration is accompanied by soothing sounds of crickets, gentle breezes, and forest animals. An additional 30-minute music sound track is included to further enhance your child s relaxation experience.
Driven by the desire to help her three-year-old daughter settle down into a peaceful night’s sleep, Maureen Garth devised meditations that would help her daughter feel secure and cared for. Starbrightis a collection of the stories Garth created as her child grew older. These innovative meditations are simple visualizations parents and teachers can read to their children to help them sleep, develop concentration, awaken creativity, and learn to quiet themselves.
“Unfortunately, a lot of children have trouble learning these techniques by the time they are seven or eight. Relaxation and visualization, if taught at an earlier age, could enhance not only children’s school work but other areas of their lives. Their concentration would improve; their artistic abilities would develop; they would feel more centered; their daydreaming could not only bring joy, but be constructive.” – Maureen Garth
In her engaging, warm, and personal style, Garth teaches parents how to help their children relax, concentrate, and develop artistic and mental abilities, as well as enjoy a good night’s sleep.
The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids: Help for Children to Cope with Stress, Anxiety, and Transitions
Children pay close attention to their parents’ moods. When parents feel upset, their kids may become anxious, and when parents wind down, children also get the chance to relax. When you feel overwhelmed and stressed, it can be hard to help your child feel balanced. Written by two child therapists, this book offers more than fifty activities you can do together as a family to help you and your child replace stressful and anxious feelings with feelings of optimism, confidence, and joy.
You’ll learn proven relaxation techniques, including deep breathing, guided imagery, mindfulness, and yoga, and then receive guidance for teaching them to your child. Your child will also discover how taking time to do art and creative projects can create a sense of fulfillment and calm. By completing just one ten-minute activity from this workbook each day, you’ll make relaxation a family habit that will stay with both you and your child for a lifetime.
If you have ever wished you could show children and teenagers how to enrich their lives with meditation and visualization, this book will delight you. It presents simple exercises in guided imagery designed to help young people ages three through eighteen to relax into learning, focus attention and increase concentration, stimulate creativity, and cultivate inner peace and group harmony.
The use of guided imagery has been internationally recognized as an effective method of “whole brain” learning. The author’s approach will have special appeal to parents and teachers who are frustrated by an educational system that seems to reward only those children who excel at verbal, linear learning. With the exercises in this book, young people can discover learning styles that are effective and enjoyable for them. These techniques of guided imagery offer adults as well as children a unique way to tap the wealth of creativity and wisdom within.