A combination of gentle, flowing movements, meditative breathing and relaxation, Tai Chi is a form of exercise and self defense that also works to calm you down.
It’s certainly popular with adults, but you may be wondering: will kids like it?
The answer is yes, absolutely! My kids absolutely love joining in, find it fun, and enjoy the activity.
There are several key benefits that Tai Chi provides for anybody, regardless of their age, gender or any other demographic category.
Let’s take a look at why it remains such a beloved practise thousands of years after it began.
It Can Soothe Anxiety
In our world of social media, scrolling and apps, anxiety is as common as it has ever been and unfortunately, our kids are not exempt.
It can feel very difficult to soothe a child’s panic attacks, but Tai Chi works fantastically without feeling patronising.
Deep breathing is central to the practise, as is emptying your mind to fill it up with clear, relaxing thoughts.
Regular rehearsal of the moves and breathing exercises can work wonders when implemented outside of Tai Chi, too.
It Can Help To Expend Anger Or Frustration
Sometimes kids are angry - it’s only natural.
They can find it very hard to deal with as an overwhelming emotion and not really have any activities to channel those tough feelings into.
That’s where Tai Chi comes in!
Whilst helping them to reduce physical symptoms of aggression by regulating the breath and stretching out the body, this can also soothe the mental temper tantrums that come alongside it.
Plus, you can do it too, so it doesn’t feel like a punishment.
It’s Fun For The Whole Family
If you’re seeking an activity that you and your family can enjoy together, Tai Chi is absolutely perfect!
Even kindergartners can begin to enjoy some peaceful reflection alongside you and will feel very pleased to be included with the bigger kids.
Unlike other forms of meditation or martial arts, it’s fairly easy to pick up and perform, even as an absolute beginner.
Few activities work this well for multiple generations - you can even get grandparents involved because it’s not very taxing on the body.
It Is Known To Improve Posture
Whether it’s the TV, the computer, or their school classroom, kids spend a great deal of time sitting - and they’re usually slouching too.
A common theme amongst children in the twenty-first century is poor posture, leading to pain in the back, neck or spine.
By maintaining good balance and properly performing the motions of Tai Chi, they can learn to position their bodies in a more appropriate and comfortable way.
It’s also helpful for figuring out which stretches are helpful if they do have an ache or pain.
It Helps Reduce Stress
Particularly in people who struggle to relax, concentrate or take quiet time, Tai Chi is an excellent way to ground yourself and work on your inner focus.
Kids who find sitting still difficult will benefit from the way it combines movement AND silence.
Although it’s not particularly taxing, exercise-wise, they’ll still be able to get all of those endorphins that come from a workout - a kid-friendly workout of course.
Calm, cool, and all of their energy expended without any screaming?
What’s not to love!
It Can Improve Co-ordination
Got an especially clumsy kid?
The clear and obvious motions of Tai Chi every week is one excellent way to naturally encourage their ability to move, stretch and flex, as well as stay on their own two feet!
In the same way that the monkey bars and climbing frames at your local playground are curated to help kids get some exercise and develop better balance, Tai Chi also develops these skills, in a calmer and more parent-friendly way.
It’s Fun Without Elements Of Competition
Tai Chi can be a fantastic solution when your child struggles with sports and group activities because of their competitive nature.
It’s a collaborative, group activity, with ZERO competition involved - in fact, collaboration is promoted instead!
Their task is to work together, understand the movements required and help each other to figure it out as a united group.
This is also a great way for them to socialize appropriately, learning lessons about communicating quietly and respectfully.
It Improves Concentration
Scientific studies have shown that Tai Chi is able to minimize or decrease hyperactivity, even in children diagnosed with ADHD.
When they see a task as “work” they can find it very hard to concentrate, especially if they feel forced.
With Tai Chi, you are able to involve them in an activity that nurtures a clear and focused mindset, without them thinking that it is a boring or tiresome task.
There’s no constant distractions because they actually want to be there - it’s fun!
It Can Develop Discipline
Let’s face it - pretty much every kid goes through a naughty phase.
It’s practically a right of passage for growing up!
Tai Chi is a really great way to not only teach your child about discipline but also show them the benefits of moderating their behavior.
Given it needs consistent rehearsal in order to succeed, once you’ve started Tai Chi, you really have to follow through with it to develop those skills.
Sure, you might have to drag ‘em there a couple of times, but didn’t we all get dragged places as a kid?
We all have to do things in life we don’t want to - even if they start off enthusiastic, this may well wane.
You want to encourage them to keep up with it, though of course if they’re clearly not enjoying it or themselves, forcing it isn’t going to help.
It Helps To Build And Sustain Physical Strength
Especially nowadays when kids are so glued to their technology, getting them outside for a runaround can prove very difficult.
Exercising doesn’t sound like fun to kids, because it doesn’t involve WIFI!
Tai Chi may not be aerobic exercise, but with all of the moving and stretching involved, it certainly provides a full-body workout every single week.
Sure, it’s not weight lifting at the gym, but what child is going to do that anyway?