6 beginner-friendly meditation strategies to help calm your child

Adopting a mantra with your child is an easy, fun way to get into the meditation mindset. 

6 beginner-friendly meditation strategies to help calm your child

Every day our children are bombarded with impressions: screens, the internet, over-scheduling of activities, information overflow, long packed school days, etc. Their lives are busy—and, believe it or not, our sweet kiddos can experience stress.

One of the most typical ways for parents to see signs of stress, depression or anxiety is if their child has a hard time falling asleep. Children today in general sleep one hour less than we did 25 years ago. Other signs of stress in children include headaches, stomach aches, ticks and hyperactivity.

One very effective way is to help our children deal with and process stress is to meditate. Meditation can both prevent stress in children and help heal children who deal with stress. It’s also a wonderful way to help children unplug and unwind after a long day, which prepares them for peaceful nights of sleep.


And there’s no need to be intimidated, mama! You don’t need to have any experience with meditation yourself in order to be able to help your child get started with it. Here are six ways to start...

1. Children’s yoga classes

If your child likes to move, yoga could be a good way to learn the basics of meditation. In the Western world, our perception is that yoga is mainly a source of exercising. Yet, it’s origin (thousands of years ago) was for meditation purposes. And now, most yoga classes for children also include time for relaxing and meditation.

A post shared by Motherly ( on

So, how do you get started?

Look for a local children’s yoga class. Join your child if you can and learn from the instructor, so you can also do yoga at home.

2. Teaching mindfulness at school

Mindfulness practices offer children tools to calm their bodies down, to relax their minds and to help them deal with their thoughts. Mindfulness meditations often focus primarily on breathing: children learn how to turn their attention back to their breath when their thoughts begin to wander. This not only helps children to relax, but also helps them concentrate better in school.

So, how do you get started?

Ask your child’s teacher if the school discusses and practices mindfulness. If the school doesn’t offer mindfulness, start a dialogue with the school staff about the many benefits of mindfulness for children.

3. Deep breathing

Deep breathing is a great technique to teach your child. Breathing is so natural for us and helps us regulate in many ways. When a child gets nervous, anxious or overwhelmed, deep breathing can help the child return back to balance. By teaching deep breathing at home, you can help your child to remember to tap into this technique at difficult times throughout their day.

How do you get started?

Start by focusing on their breath. Talk about where in the body he can feel his breath. In his nose? Throat? Chest? Tummy? Ask him to count while breathing. Breathe in for three seconds, hold your breath for three seconds, breathe out for three seconds and pause for three seconds—until you start again.

When you have practiced this technique for a while you can make the sequences longer and longer and the breathing deeper and deeper. This technique is very good for both adults and children who cannot fall asleep. Every time your mind wanders—and it will—you can refocus on counting and breathing.

4. Body scanning

Scanning the body is fantastic to teach a child to switch her attention from the busy mind to the tired body.

How do you get started?

Have your child lie down and help her relax every muscle by mentioning all body parts one by one in a calm, loving voice. Practice deep breathing as you go along. For some children quiet music in the background helps. Imagery helps, too—you can use all kinds of scenery. For instance, ask your child to imagine that she is lying in a fresh meadow in the summer sun.

Feel free to incorporate massage by gently rubbing oil into their skin. Being touched like this has a calming effect in itself. Ask questions along the way, to make your child feel the body part in focus. For example, ask how it feels to relax her feet. Children’s feet are so busy all day long. Now they are tired. How do tired feet feel? If they had a color right now what color would they have? How do tired feet look? Etc.

5. Mantras

You can rehearse saying mantras with your child. A mantra designed for your child’s specific challenges in life can be very helpful to your child when repeated over and over again.

How do you get started?

By repeating the same sentence you and your child find important, you can also help your child into a meditation. Rehearse the sentence and adjust it so it becomes easy to say. Have your child repeat the sentence with her eyes closed.

Here are some examples...

I am in love with life and life loves me.

I am always loved and love comes easily to me.

My heart is full of love and I love myself.

I let go of...

I am thankful for...

The world is a safe place and I am protected and safe.

I have all I need and I will always be able to take care of myself…

By body is healthy and my mind is strong.

6. Bedtime meditation

Bedtime meditations are very helpful to calm down the nervous system and decrease the child’s level of stress hormones. In general, we say that a child can meditate for the number of minutes equivalent to his age. However, if the meditation makes your child relax it can go on for a longer time and will ease the transition to sleep.

How do you get started?

Facilitate a calm, peaceful environment in your child’s bedroom with soft light, gentle music and even aromatherapy. For more guidance, check out my new children’s bedtime meditation book, “The Children’s Meditations In my Heart,” which will help your child to relax, feel loved and fall asleep.

Join Motherly

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

Keep reading Show less