My 10-year old has been struggling with frustration and anger management. It isn’t a recent issue–he’s a highly sensitive child who gets overwhelmed easily. His outbursts took a break from first to third grade, but suddenly, in fourth grade, they became too frequent to ignore. We took him to a therapist, and his first session went very well. We’ve also started using a meditation app at home.
Headspace is a meditation app I used to use when it first launched in 2012. Andy Puddicombe, a soft-spoken British guy and a former Buddhist monk, leads you through guided meditation in a simple, approachable fashion. The basic sessions uses short animations in between to clarify what meditation is and isn’t. I loved it and used it everyday, but abandoned it after version 2 launched. The user interface wasn’t as friendly, and offering felt more rigid. I’m so glad I rediscovered it last year, though. Headspace has grown so much since I last used it. It is flexible, easy to use and find what you’re looking for. With the exception of the 3 basic “intro” sessions, you can choose the length of your session: 10, 15 or 20 minutes. And there are now meditations designed for kids of any age, even under 5! For kids, you can choose a 3, 6 or 9-minute meditation.
The kids packs are part of the subscription program which costs $12.99 per month or $7.99 per month if paid annually. It’s been well worth it for us, but Headspace also offers some free animation videos and short meditations on YouTube.
My son seemed to get a lot out of this one. Now whenever he or I feel like things are getting to us, we say, “Don’t chase the hog dog truck!” (watch to the end)
Andy’s metaphors are very visual and easy to understand. “Think of the mind as a still pool of water. Each thought is like a raindrop. It creates a ripple on the surface.” It definitely helps my son to visualize his mind in this way, to learn to see it objectively.
Understood.org has a list of 7 recommended meditation apps for kids. Some of them are free! Check it out.