Sitting Still Like a Frog: Meditation for Kids
We have such a busy lifestyle these days and don’t seem to stop for a second, and this can have a harmful effect on our mental and physical health. Because of that, we’d like to suggest that it’s very helpful to teach our children, even from a young age, to take a moment to pause and sit quietly by practicing meditation and relaxation. To do this, various methods can be used, such as the one described in the book Sitting Still Like a Frog.
The author of this book is Eline Snel, a Dutch psychologist. She has created this meditation technique for children, with simple and effective exercises, based on the practice of mindfulness developed by Jon Kabat-Zin.
“If we teach meditation to every eight-year-old child, we would eliminate violence in just one generation.”
– Dalai Lama –
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is all about full attention or awareness. Its whole idea is that of being present in an active and intentional way, perceiving everything that happens around us, and inside us, and ignoring everything that’s irrelevant at that time. It’s about living in the here and now.
In this way, through this technique of relaxation and meditation, we can achieve many different physiological and psychological benefits, such as:
- Calming the mind
- Learning to feel and understand our emotions
- Increasing our capacity to concentrate
- Enhancing our subjective well-being
- Having confidence in ourselves
- Controlling impulses
- Decreasing stress and anxiety
- Controlling aggressiveness
- Decreasing sleep problems
- Avoiding prejudice
- Promoting kindness
- Maintaining patience
Because of all these benefits, we can say that mindfulness is beneficial for everyone, but especially for children. Why? Because it can be very beneficial to their growth and overall development.
“Being aware means abandoning judgment for a while, leaving aside our immediate objectives for the future and accepting the here and now as it is and not as we would like it to be.”
– Mark Williams –
Sitting Still Like a Frog: meditation with children
Sitting Still Like a Frog is a perfect teaching resource for us to learn how to meditate as a family. It’s aimed at children from 5 to 12 years old, and the idea is that they practice meditation and relaxation together with their parents.
It describes in detail a series of stories and exercises that are simple, short and easy to carry out. They can be put into practice for a few minutes every day, on a regular basis. In addition to this, it comes with a CD, which helps to guide the meditation.
The book is divided into different sections, including one for parents only. Some of the blocks of activities and topics in the book are:
- Attention begins with breathing
- How to train your “attention muscle”
- From your head to your body
- A storm is coming
- Handling difficult feelings
- The worry factory
- Being kind is fun
- Patience, trust and letting go
Why should we sit still like a frog?
Within the chapters mentioned above, one of the exercises is the one that gives this wonderful book its title, because it consists of teaching children how to sit still like a frog. But why a frog? According to the author, Eline Snel, the reason for using this animal as a reference is as follows:
“It can make huge jumps, but it can also sit very still. It’s aware of everything that’s happening around it, but doesn’t react immediately and breathes very calmly […]. We too can do what the frog does. All you need is attention. Be attentive to your breathing. Attention and tranquility.”
– Eline Snel –