“How to Teach Meditation to Children” is a comprehensive guide that offers practical tips and techniques for introducing children to meditation. Written by David Fontana and Ingrid Slack, both experienced psychologists who have worked extensively with children, this book is intended for parents, schoolteachers, youth leaders, social workers, psychologists, church workers, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and anyone who has contact with children in an official capacity and who wishes to help them make the best use of their extraordinary minds.
Overview of the Book:
The book begins by exploring the benefits of meditation for children, such as increased focus, concentration, and emotional resilience. It then goes on to provide guidance on how to create a supportive environment for children’s meditation practice, including the importance of establishing a regular routine and creating a safe and peaceful space for meditation.
The authors provide practical tips and techniques for teaching meditation to children of different ages, from toddlers to teenagers. For younger children, they recommend simple visualization exercises and guided meditations that incorporate storytelling and creative imagery. For older children, they suggest more advanced techniques such as mindfulness meditation and self-inquiry.
The book also emphasizes the importance of empowering children to judge the usefulness of meditation for themselves. Children should be given the right to accept or reject the practice as they think fit, and any attempt to introduce them to meditation must be done sensitively and wisely. The authors stress that the success of meditation practice depends upon voluntary participation and a sense of curiosity and wonder about one’s own mind.
One of the strengths of the book is the variety of exercises and techniques provided for teaching meditation to children. The authors offer clear and detailed instructions, and each exercise is accompanied by a brief explanation of its purpose and benefits. The exercises are also accompanied by illustrations that help to make them accessible and engaging for children.
Another strength of the book is the emphasis on creating a supportive environment for children’s meditation practice. The authors provide guidance on how to create a calming atmosphere for meditation, including suggestions for lighting, music, and aromatherapy. They also discuss the importance of establishing a regular routine for meditation practice and incorporating meditation into everyday activities such as mealtime and bedtime.
One potential weakness of the book is that it may not provide enough guidance on how to deal with children who are resistant to meditation practice. While the authors emphasize the importance of voluntary participation and allowing children to make their own decisions about meditation, they do not offer much advice on how to encourage children who may be skeptical or resistant to the practice.
Another potential weakness is that the book may not provide enough guidance on how to adapt meditation practice for children with special needs or learning difficulties. While the authors acknowledge that meditation can be beneficial for children with ADHD, autism, and other conditions, they do not provide much guidance on how to adapt meditation techniques for these children.
Overall, “How to Teach Meditation to Children” is a valuable resource for anyone interested in introducing meditation to children. The book offers practical guidance and insights based on the authors’ extensive experience, and provides a framework for helping children to develop a lifelong practice that can have a positive impact on their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. While there are some potential weaknesses in the book, such as a lack of guidance on dealing with resistant children and adapting meditation for children with special needs, these do not detract from the overall value of the book. Anyone looking to introduce children to meditation will find this book to be a valuable and informative resource.