Although I don’t often get the opportunity, I really enjoy talking to children about mindfulness and meditation. Meditation has been proven again and again to improve every facet of your life. But it’s not just for adults. Meditation and mindfulness practices in children have been becoming increasingly popular. One of the reasons is the fact that many pro coaches admit to teaching meditation to their players. But I think another reason is a need for spiritual awareness. Somewhere along the way, we have lost touch with the fact that we are spiritual creatures. However, just in case your cynicism is at an all-time high, there have been so many studies done to prove the effectiveness of meditation among children. It has been proven to reduce stress and impulsiveness, improve academic, sports, AND behavior performances. And the best part is, your child can use meditation for the rest of his or her life.
A University of California, Los Angeles study found second- and third-graders who practiced “mindful” meditation techniques for 30 minutes twice a week for eight weeks had improved behavior and scored higher on tests requiring memory, attention and focus than the non-meditators.
Another study of more than 3,000 children in the San Francisco Unified School District found a dramatic improvement in math test scores and overall academic performance among students who practiced transcendental meditation, a form of mediation that promotes relaxation and “an awakening” of the mind. The study also found a decrease in student suspensions, expulsions and dropout rates.
There are countless abstracts in Psychology journals about the effects meditation had on school children with cognitive and behavioral disadvantages. And while the success rate isn’t perfect, through meditation, the children learned to alter their feeling state to be more responsive.
Charles Sturt University, University of New South Wales, and the Institute of Psychiatry King’s College UK had parents and their children participate in a six week study which proves meditation alleviates ADHD. Results showed improvements in children’s ADHD behavior, self-esteem and relationship quality. I think this is one of the most important points for two reasons. One, it proves that meditation is so versatile, but also it disproves the necessity of pharmaceuticals!
Just in case your cynicism is still intact, here are the top five reasons to have your child learn meditation:
#1-To harness the mind… (children these days have an especially jumpy mind; meditation teaches them focus).
#2-To prepare for the challenges of puberty… (the closer your child draws to the teenage phase, the more inner stability he/she needs).
#3-To de-stress for academic success… (when the mind is free of tension, it allows the mind to function at peak performance therefore enabling problem-solving elements and creativity to flow).
#4-To support healthy emotional development… (meditation allows your child to cope with frustrations and fear).
#5-To reach their full potential… (Potential is a word with endless possibilities. Help your children realize they can be successful beyond their wildest dreams).
If you had infinite amount of time and resources, I am sure you could also conduct your own study. But those of you with children can start now. See for yourself the positive powers of mindfulness and meditation. In fact, do it with your child. You’ll both be able to benefit from it. Invest your time into teaching your child meditation. You will not be disappointed. After all, children are the future. Thanks for reading. InJoy your day!