Friday morning was not a good morning for meditation. Neither of my kids were interested. We had to pop into the store on the way to school so I decided we would do our meditation in the car once we got to school should there be enough time. We were there in plenty of time and I started the 3 minute 'calm' Headspace meditation which both my kids know well. They were not having any of it! My son kicked the back of my chair for the whole 3 minutes and my daughter just huffed, crossed her arms and said "I'm NOT doing it..."
I don't know why that morning was a no go for them. They're usually pretty up for the meditations, especially my son. For whatever reason it just wasn't going to work and there was no point in me getting upset or cross. I just did the meditation on my own and when it was finished proceeded to drive up to the school drop off. I hoped that by not making a big deal about it and demonstrating how you should behave during a meditation they will follow my lead next time. But hey...kids are kids right? They don't always do what we want them to.
"Eat your vegetables" "Brush your teeth" "It's cold outside so put your hat on"
I don't think there can be any parents who haven't struggled to get their kids to do something they don't want to do. It's the ever infuriating aspect of parenthood. Trying to get your little people to do things we know are good for them. Eating veggies is a common one. But you cannot force a kid to eat vegetables- unless you physically pin them down and force-feed them in which case you're probably causing more harm than good. All you can do is keep giving them vegetables and persevere with encouraging them to eat it. If you give up and stop offering them they will never eat vegetables. If you persevere and keep offering them, eat with them at mealtimes and set a good example for them by eating your own vegetables they'll eventually.
It's exactly the same for mindfulness and meditation. If you try to pin them down and FORCE them to meditate then you won't get anywhere. They'll start to resist even more. However, if you keep introducing it to them and demonstrate yourself how to do it then they will eventually start to embrace it and will even start asking you to meditate which is such a fantastic feeling. Knowing you've given your kids a really valuable tool to use when they need it.
That's my experience anyway. Today was a much better day. The sun was out so we did meditation in the garden. After having a swing on the monkey bars my son came and joined me and my daughter and we practiced "Metta Bhavana" otherwise known as the Loving Kindness meditation.
So hang in there. It will be worth it I promise ;)