Introducing Meditation And Chanting To Your Kids

Introducing Meditation And Chanting To Your Kids
Introducing Meditation And Chanting To Your Kids

Chanting gives a deep sense of connection and belonging for everyone and not surprisingly, this also applies for children. In Sanskrit, the word ‘man’ indicates the mind, and the word ‘tra’ indicates that which liberates. Thus chanting a mantra can literally deliver the mind from contemplation of the mundane in order to reach spiritual goals and satisfaction.
Meditation and chanting for children is not very different from what older people do, the only difference is in the modification of time, attention span and the stress levels a particular child indicates.

Children’s meditation usually tend to be guided, especially when the children are young or have never meditated before. Guided meditation involves a teacher leading kids (or adults) in relaxation through deeper breathing and visualization of calming places or events. More advanced guided meditation can involve visualizing healing light that relieves physical pain, or visualization of forgiving past wrongs, which may be more appropriate for teenagers.

How Is It Beneficial?

At increasingly younger ages, kids are facing higher levels of stress, and it may be taking a significant toll on their health. Stressful events in childhood can increase the risk of developing health problems as an adult, but the impact may hit much earlier. A recent University of Florida study found that stressful events can impact a child’s health and well-being almost immediately, and can contribute to the development of physical and mental health problems and learning disabilities.
A study done at the National Therapies Research Unit at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney Australia, showed significant improvements in ADHD symptoms with children who were taught to meditate. The children reported improved attention spans and less hyperactivity.

Other benefits were:


1. Improved relationships with their parents.

2. Reduced depression, stress and anxiety.


3. Better sense of self-esteem.

4. Boosts Happiness.


5. Strengthen self-control and character development simultaneously.

50 percent of the children that were on medication either reduced or stopped their medication completely, and still continued to improve their symptoms through continued meditation


In autism and many other psychological imbalances, the connecting thread is a lack of rhythm. There’s a challenge of balancing the inner and outer world, and this can distort relationships and interactions with others. In the case of autism, environmental cues become so augmented that the child shuts down from the world to protect themselves. Mantra meditation in particular can help restore a sense of rhythm.

Visualization for Children

Meditation that uses visualization works well with children as they have a very good and active imagination. Usually situations or places that bring a sense of calmness and happiness can be aided for visualization. For instance: playing on the beach or walking in a field of flowers on a warm day. You can modify the visualizations to whatever is most relaxing for the child at that age, including napping with a favorite stuffed animal toy or coloring in the park.



Children can also participate in more traditional forms of meditation that involve chanting instead of visualization (or paired with visualization). Chanting involves a higher level of concentration, so it may be most appropriate for older kids used to meditating, or for teenagers. Chanting involves the repetition of a mantra or phrase, in order to focus the mind on the present moment. Kids can chant the traditional “om,” which is a deep sound vibration. They can also chant scriptures from your family’s spiritual tradition, or self-affirming phrases.

How To Begin Your Meditation Practice With Your Child

1. Set an example

Children are highly likely to follow your habits, both good and bad. Practicing meditation and chanting when they are around will pique their curiosity and they are more likely to join in.


2. Practice silence

Practice silence for a few hours each day, start off with the lowest time possible and increase it. You can turn it into a game, “who can be the quietest?” and when someone breaks the silence, don’t turn it into a punishment, just ask them to sing a fun song or do a goofy dance.

3. Every child’s meditation threshold is different

Many experts recommend one minute of meditation per year of age, starting at around age eight. But some children may seem to have a natural aptitude for meditation and/or chanting. For instance, some children may be able to sit longer in meditation than other children which is completely natural. Don’t be forceful with anything just let things flow organically.

4. Pranayama (Breathing Exercises)

Breath is connected to prana (life-force energy) and oxygenates every cell in our body. It can also be a very good technique for calming stressed nerves, temper tantrums and other states that are born out of fear. Here are a few pranayama techniques:

• Ujjayi (Victorious Breath): Explore practicing the ‘deep ocean sound’ at the back of the throat, while taking deep belly breaths. It truly calms and settles their energy.

• Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breath): This is said to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain—leading to better cognitive development. Just start off by breathing in from one end while holding the other end shut with a finger and release while doing the same on the other side.

• Kapalabhati (Shining Breath): Children have fun watching their bellies as they push the air out of their mouths while drawing their abdomen in at the same time.

How To Introduce Chanting

Chanting improves focus and concentration and has powerful effects on brain development. Here are a few mantras you can use for children.

  • The Gayatri mantra has 24 syllables, each of which is connected to a different part of the brain. It has been used to enhance intelligence and intuition. It’s also a beautiful song and a great exercise for memory.
  • OM is the sound of the universe and divine intelligence. Allow your little ones to play with the tone and volume of their OM’s and go at their own pace. The sound can range from a strange and harmonious choir to the sound of different animals howling the jungle.
  • Chakra toning: Hang up a chart or painting of the chakras (the body’s seven major energy centers). Point to the chakra and have them imagine the color in that area of their body. Have them chant the mantra associated with that chakra.
  • After toning or using mantras, ask them to keep their eyes closed for a while and notice how they feel. This is a powerful meditation tool that can help kids gain awareness of the effects of using mantras.
  • Have them gaze at a burning candle for a period of time, this can be a meditation practice in focus and discipline (fire is interesting enough that it can hold their attention). If you go to a place where there is a flowing river, you can ask them to meditate on that too.

Basic Mantras To Chant

A basic guideline is explained here

1. To Bless Your Children (Kumara mantra)

Om Kumara Kushalo Dayayei Namaha


Ohm Kooh-mah-rah Koosh-ah-loh Dih-yih-yay Nah-mah-hah


“Salutations to the Divine Mother who brings blessings to children.”

When to chant:

You’d like to sing a blessing for the children in your life.  If your child struggles to wind down and go to sleep at night, try singing it to him or her as a lullaby. It can become a peaceful part of your bedtime routine together.

What It Does:

The Kumara mantra is a sacred lullaby for children of all ages. It gives us a chance to honor the new generation and to pass on what wisdom we have found, so that they may continue making the Earth a more beautiful, peaceful place.

2. To Be Creative (Saraswati Mantra)

OM Eim Saraswatayei Namaha


Ohm I-am Sah-rah-svah-tyay Nah-mah-hah


“OM and salutations to Saraswati (the goddess of music, poetry, the arts, education, learning and divine speech).”

When to chant:

Your children are getting ready to go to school or do their homework at night—especially if they’re struggling to settle down and focus. This mantra can quiet their minds and pave the way to better learning and creativity.

What It Does:

The Saraswati Mantra opens us (and our children) towards education, learning, spiritual knowledge, and the artistic realms of music and poetry. On a spiritual level, you can offer this mantra as a gift to your children, that they may be at ease while learning the wonders of this unfolding mystery of life.

3. To Honour Mother Earth

OM Niyamaya Namaha


Ohm Nee-yah-mih-yah Nah-mah-hah


“Salutations to the governor of the laws of nature and their conduct.”

Chant It When:

Try chanting the Niyamaya Mantra when you’d like teach your children the value of connecting to (and honoring) Mother Earth. The practice can also serve as a springboard for talking about environmental issues and the importance of treading lightly on the planet.

What it Does:

This mantra celebrates and honors the perfect order of nature, and our earthly existence as humans on sacred mother earth.

4. Oneness with animals

OM Pashupatayei Namaha


Ohm pahsh-oo-pah-tah-yay nah-mah-hah


“Salutations to the governor of the laws of nature and their conduct.”

Chant It When:

You want to teach your children a simple, spiritual way to show your love and respect for animals. You can also use sing it together as a blessing for your household pets.

What It Does:

With this mantra, you can teach your children to consciously attune themselves to fellow travelers who are the animals. It can also pave the way for open-minded discussions about animal welfare, animal rights, and other related topics.

5. To Building strength through devotion

OM Hum Hanumate Vijayam


Ohm Hoom Hah-noo-mah-tay Vee-jay-ahm


“Victory to the invincible Hanuman.”

Chant It When:

Your children need a boost of energy. The Hanuman Mantra is also a mantra for physical fitness.


A child is imprinted with many influences and all of this shapes his/her personality. When there’s a mindfulness approach to living, it ultimately becomes the personality of the child to truly manifest and become who they are without following the external pressures of life. Introducing children at a young age for meditation and chanting will have long term benefits for them physically, emotionally and spiritually.