As promised in my last post about meditation and children, here is the next step in preparing your child to meditate.

Even young children can learn the basics of meditation. It is an excellent way to prepare your child to learn any subject. You will likely find that after a short session, your child will feel so alert and open to learning, that he can soak up anything he is exposed to, like a lotus blossom absorbing sun and water.

Meditating can also teach your child how to diffuse tension and gain control over his body and mind. Once he learns the basics as a child, he will be able to continue using this tool as he gets older. The skills will come in handy when he finds himself facing any stressful situation, from a kid who grabs a toy to a teacher who poses a challenging question.

Both you and your child may find that situations that once called for a “time out” will be more effectively resolved by a “time in” – a session of meditation.

Those who meditate recognize that the most important element is the breath. Therefore, the next step is the breath.


As your child becomes familiar with the Progressive Body Relaxation exercise and can do this first step in meditation more rapidly, you can progress to the next step: deeper focus on the breath.

1. Help your child focus on his breathing. Breathe in–doesn’t it feel cool? Breathe out – doesn’t it feel warm?

2. Continue to focus on the breath. As the body automatically breathes in and out, he will notice his tummy moving up and down in sync with his breathing, not his chest. Explain that he should be thinking and focusing only on his breath: how it feels coming in, and going out. If he starts thinking about anything else (as all of us tend to do – it is a phenomenon called “the monkey mind”), he should just go back to focusing and feeling only the sensation of the warmth and coolness of his breath as he breathes in and out. If there is a big crash or a truck passing by or a fly buzzing in the room, explain that the sound may be distracting for a bit. That is all right. Just say “Hi” to the noise. Then return to his breath, the repetition of his natural breathing in and out. Soon thoughts of other things will fall away and a feeling of peaceful concentration will return.

3. Ask your child to do a body check again. Are your toes tense? Are your shoulders tense? Explain to your child that if any body part gets tense, he should relax it again as he did in the beginning.

4. Go back to repeating the focus of the in and out movement of his breath. Keep the mind steady and focused.

5. As the session ends, tell your child to slowly open his eyes. Encourage him to move very slowly as he comes to a standing position. Ask him not to speak or make any sudden movements but to feel how quiet his body is. Make sure to leave enough time between meditation and the next activity so your child can savor this peaceful feeling as he moves into the rest of his day.

Remember, meditation is not going to sleep. But afterwards, your child will certainly feel quite refreshed and alert.

In the next part of this blog series, I will discuss how to move into seated meditation with older children, and discuss what is known as “The Monkey Mind” in meditation.


  • Dr. Gail Gross

    Author and Parenting, Relationships, and Human Behavior Expert

    Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed., a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and member of APA Division 39, is a nationally recognized family, child development, and human behavior expert, author, and educator. Her positive and integrative approach to difficult issues helps families navigate today’s complex problems. Dr. Gross is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior, and development issues. A dependable authority, Dr. Gross has contributed to broadcast, print and online media including CNN, the Today Show, CNBC's The Doctors, Hollywood Reporter, FOX radio, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Times of India, People magazine, Parents magazine, Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine, USA Today, Univision, ABC, CBS, and KHOU's Great Day Houston Show. She is a veteran radio talk show host as well as the host of the nationally syndicated PBS program, “Let’s Talk.” Also, Dr. Gross has written a semi-weekly blog for The Huffington Post and has blogged at since 2013. Recently, Houston Women's Magazine named her One of Houston's Most Influential Women of 2016. Dr. Gross is a longtime leader in finding solutions to the nation’s toughest education challenges. She co-founded the first-of-its kind Cuney Home School with her husband Jenard, in partnership with Texas Southern University. The school serves as a national model for improving the academic performance of students from housing projects by engaging the parents. Dr. Gross also has a public school elementary and secondary campus in Texas that has been named for her. Additionally, she recently completed leading a landmark, year-long study in the Houston Independent School District to examine how stress-reduction affects academics, attendance, and bullying in elementary school students, and a second study on stress and its effects on learning. Such work has earned her accolades from distinguished leaders such as the Dalai Lama, who presented her with the first Spirit of Freedom award in 1998. More recently, she was honored in 2013 with the Jung Institute award. She also received the Good Heart Humanitarian Award from Jewish Women International, Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame Award, the Great Texan of the Year Award, the Houston Best Dressed Hall of Fame Award, Trailblazer Award, Get Real New York City Convention's 2014 Blogging Award, and Woman of Influence Award. Dr. Gross’ book, The Only Way Out Is Through, is available on Amazon now and offers strategies for life’s transitions including coping with loss, drawing from dealing with the death of her own daughter. Her next book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, is also available on Amazon now and teaches parents how to enhance their child’s learning potential by understanding and recognizing their various development stages. And her first research book was published by Random House in 1987 on health and skin care titled Beautiful Skin. Dr. Gross has created 8 audio tapes on relaxation and stress reduction that can be purchased on Most recently, Dr. Gross’s book, The Only Way Out is Through, was named a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Silver Medal finalist in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the categories of Death & Dying as well as Grief. Her latest book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, was the National Parenting Product Awards winner in 2019, the Nautilus Book Awards winner in 2019, ranked the No. 1 Best New Parenting Book in 2019 and listed among the Top 10 Parenting Books to Read in 2020 by BookAuthority, as well as the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Gold Medal winner in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the category of How-To. Dr. Gross received a BS in Education and an Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education) with a specialty in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. She earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Education with a focus on Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. Gross received her second PhD in Psychology, with a concentration in Jungian studies. Dr. Gross was the recipient of Kappa Delta Pi An International Honor Society in Education. Dr. Gross was elected member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.