I bribed my three kids to meditate with me – here’s what happened

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This post was written by School Mum Contributor Carolyn Tate

I’ve long known the benefits of meditation: reduced stress, improved concentration, and better immunity and cardiovascular health for starters. That is, I’ve known them in theory. But only lately have I really embraced the practice and started to reap the rewards.

I’ve meditated every day for the past three months and I’ve never felt better. And if you’re yet to cross over to the ohm side, let me tell you, everything they tell you is true. It’s blissful over here.

So I did what any good parent would do when they discover something that’s wonderful for you. I tried to get my three kids to do it with me.

Me: Who wants to sit still in silence and think about nothing? It’s good for you.

Them: Yeah, nah. Pass the iPad.

Okay, so clearly I was never going to get them on the benefits alone. So I resorted to bribery, sure that once they had a taste of Nirvana, they’d be begging me every day to meditate with them.

My kids are pretty cheap, so I got them in after lunch with the promise of a marshmallow each if they meditated with me for 10 minutes.

We gathered in the lounge and I put on what I considered to be a nice entry-level guided meditation. We sat in silence. I closed my eyes. I was tempted to peek during the subsequent ten minutes but I figured I may as well lead by example so I meditated like a champ, ignoring the squirming and giggling noises I could hear to my left.

Once the ten minutes were up I opened my eyes to see three sets of eye staring into mine.

‘How was that?’ I asked, expecting very little enthusiasm.

I wasn’t disappointed.

‘Where are the marshmallows?’ was the resounding response.

My 12 year old, who loves yoga and considers herself a Buddhist was a bit of a let down. She’s too caught up in surly pre-teenhood to allow herself to surrender to meditation right now but I won’t give up on her just yet.

And my four year old predictably had ants in her pants. Maybe it’s a bit too early for her.

But my six year old son was the surprise package of the three. He wouldn’t admit it in front of his sisters. He’s way too much of an alpha male for that. But as I was tucking him into bed that night, he asked me if I could put on a bedtime meditation.

I lay down with him and we listened to one together. That was three weeks ago, and he’s listened to a bedtime meditation every night since. He says he’ll keep doing it forever. Just don’t tell his sisters.

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Being a mum to 3 kids (one of them full time at home with me) and trying to juggle everything became pretty crazy.

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