Meditating with Kids & Little Space

I listened to Focused 119: Productivity & Meditation last week, (I’m a bit behind), and it made me want to try meditating again.

But I live in a small apartment, with kids, and we’re homeschooling. How do the meditators where with kids find space? How did @MacSparky handle it when his kids were young?

As good as it might be for training my concentration, I would like to avoid having to meditate on the balcony during our Canadian winter!

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As a fellow Canuck living in a small condo in Toronto with a 3 month old, my meditation practice happens during my kid’s early morning feeding or first thing when my alarm goes off (6:00). I realize this habit may need to change when he gets older and possible starts waking up before we do. For now though, this is what I am able to do. I can usually get a solid 20 minutes in and my wife is very supportive of this and helps out.

A classic problem. Agree odd hours are the only choice sometimes. Any chance you can involve your children? They may not be old enough to sit still, but they would probably love to read a book or draw next to you on the floor for 15-30 minutes.

If the layout of the small apartment allows, could the family agree to keep activity out of the bedroom during part of the day? If a baby or toddler is napping, could you go and meditate in that room after they fall asleep?

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As a teacher, may I suggest getting them to meditate with you!

They are old enough, at least in theory, (9 & 5). To the pessimist/realist in me this sounds like a good way to get them to fight :wink:

I should add - the parent bedroom gets turned into the living/homeschool room during the day, (murphy beds are great!). I may be able to sneak into the kids room to meditate though.

This is the way.

(I think). It probably would help them too.

When they’re a bit older and there’s more than one they wake earlier and fight more.

But odd hours may be the answer.

Keep up the small apartment living! There’s a lot of good in it to go with the lack of space.

To this day, I do most of my meditation when he rest of the family is asleep or away. I just find it easier.

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Pfft. Have you ever tried to get a 2.5-3.5yo to sit still? I used to have a solid meditation practice, which is pretty much obliterated since the kid showed up. It’s off hours, if you can manage it (which clearly I cannot) or not at all (which I seem to manage very well :unamused: ).

They are perfect ages for it, John! They would enjoy doing as their Dad does. Put one on one side of you and the other on the other side… like everyone on the couch so they are not facing one another. No talking whatsoever. Explain so they understand and ask them to feed it on back to you. Ask them to visualize what they like doing best. Or have them meditate on nature or the sounds in and outside of the room.

Make a big deal about it. Only if they promise to behave they’ll get that extra time meditating along with Dad.

Oh sure, Machei! I use to teach. For a while I had twenty four kids in Head Start; they were four year olds.

Maybe something magic happens between 3 and 4. I can only speak from my experience. For me, kid+meditation is a nonstarter. Best you can hope for is trying to do things mindfully for as long as their attention holds. Thankfully, once focused, kids will stay a few minutes unless distracted. At that point it’s more about environment–balancing stimulus availability with space to interact with all of it. But sitting meditation? Nope. Not at this age for me, anyway. YMMV, I suppose.