Most children are naturally kind and empathetic, but it’s common for them to be a little self-absorbed. This kindness meditation for kids helps them realize the importance of cultivating loving kindness.
The more mindfulness exercises we offer our kids, the better equipped they are to put these tools into practice. Guided meditation can help children and teens relieve stress and anxiety, improve self-esteem, feel great, and develop a positive mental attitude at school and at home.
Specifically, lovingkindness meditation offers benefits to people of all ages. By introducing your child to it at an early age, they can enjoy:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased feelings of hope
- Reduced anger (or anger is directed in useful ways)
- Improved empathy
- Better social connections
- More self love
- Decreased physical and emotional pain
Yes, you read the last point right. Studies have shown how a brief loving kindness meditation reduced migraine pain and helped alleviate emotional tension associated with chronic migraines. (source) And another study showed a decrease in chronic back pain after the subject practiced this type of meditation. (source)
This kindness meditation for kids is based on the book: Have you Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud.
Relax with your child as you slowly and evenly read the following meditation. Follow your child’s cues for when to stop and let them process. If their attention wanders, gently help them come back to the present moment.
Kindness Meditation for Kids
Close your eyes and take a very deep breath.
Keep breathing deeply and feel the cool air come in through your nose and flow all the way down to your belly. Feel your belly extend as you breathe in.
Now, listen carefully to all the quiet sounds outside and around you. You may hear outside noises, maybe cars, birds, or something else… just listen.
Now, turn your focus within. Listen quietly to what you hear happening within your body.
Can you hear your heart beating?
Can you hear your breath flowing slowly in and out?
Maybe your tummy is making noises, or you’re listening to the sound of your breath, or your heartbeat. Whatever is going on inside, just take time to listen.
Imagine now inside of you, there is a big beautiful bucket.
Everyone has one though we can’t see it with our eyes. When we feel good, our buckets are full.
When we’re feeling bad, our buckets are low… or even empty.
Did you know that when you fill someone else’s bucket with kindness, helpfulness, or even a smile… your own bucket gets filled up, too?
That’s actually the way we fill our buckets. When we share goodness or gratitude and think happy thoughts, our buckets are filled with so much goodness.
When kind words are spoken, buckets get fuller. And when unkind words are spoken, buckets become a little emptier. We all want our buckets to be full of love, kindness, peacefulness, and happiness.
So, we can make a choice each and every day to show loving kindness to others and help fill up their buckets. In doing so, our own bucket gets filled to the top and can even overflow with happiness!
Let’s imagine for a moment a time when you might get upset with someone.
What do you imagine is happening to your bucket?
What’s happening to the other person’s bucket?
We don’t want empty buckets because it doesn’t feel nice inside. So, your goal when you get upset is to talk about what you’re feeling, without emptying your bucket or the other person’s bucket.
You can do it. Just imagine that bucket and keeping it full.
If your bucket ever feels low or empty – you can take in a deep breath and remember how loved you are. You can choose to be grateful for the good things and people you have in your life and focus on that.
Now when you’re ready…. take in a deep breath.
Open your eyes and give you wonderful body a big wonderful stretch! You’ve done a great job!
You can come back to this meditation any time your child likes. You can also offer them these simple loving kindness meditation mantras to use on their own:
May I be happy.
May I be peaceful.
May I be free from suffering.
Start with the first person or “I” perspective and then help your child visualize another person they wish these phrases for and turn them into “May you be happy”, etc.
Find the free printable PDF of this loving kindness meditation for kids and 50+ other guided imagery scripts when you subscribe below.