As a parent, you yearn for the moment when the kids finish eating, the dishes are done, the laundry is folded, and finally, homework time is over. After they throw that pencil down, they eagerly run to the computer, television, cell phone, or iPod to continue entertaining themselves. Maybe they grab a yogurt, or a bag of chips while they’re at it. You let them engage in these products and activities because you want them to be happy and healthy.
One of the best ways to make sure your child is living a happy healthy life is to have them engage in an activity called meditation. Meditation is a thought process where the mind goes into a state on consciousness. This allows you to free your mind of scattered thoughts.
According to Forbes research on meditation, there are multiple positives that meditating and mindfulness have on children. These benefits are: increased attention, a bump in attendance/ grades in school, reprieve from outside trauma, better mental health, better self-awareness and self-regulation, and better social-emotional development.
- Attention, attention! Children who decide to meditate at home show a high improvement of focus at school. MBCT-C, otherwise known as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children, has shown to help increase the attention and behavior problems of children. Alice G. Walton, author of the article on Forbes called “Science Shows Meditation Benefits Children's Brains And Behavior,” discusses a study done in 2013. In the study, boys with ADHD had an eight-week training in mindfulness. The outcome was that their hyperactive behaviors decreased and their concentration was improved. Imagine what your child can accomplish with meditating for eight weeks!
- Increase in attendance and grades. Implementing meditation at home or in school may show an increase in attendance and grades. Children feel less stressed and more relieved when given a chance to relax.
- A relief from the outside world. Sometimes schoolwork, sports, teachers, family, and friends can take a toll on the body and mind. A lot of adults who meditate state that taking the time to meditate helps them feel relieved from the world around them, so why not have your children feel the same way? Mindfulness allows them the time to themselves and really focus in on the present moment and not the annoying factors around them, like how Beth made fun of her new shoes, or how Frank got a D on his algebra quiz.
- Increase in mental health. Studies have been done that show kids who engage in an afterschool program consisting of yoga and meditation feel happier and relaxed. Why not take these programs home? Instead of plugging in that PS4, encourage your child to take 30 minutes out of his/her day to kick anxiety’s butt!
- Be self-aware and self-regulate! Mindfulness is quite similar to self-awareness that the two actually go hand-and-hand. Mindfulness is being able to be attentive to what you’re doing. To be self-aware means your conscious of your thoughts, needs, and motives. So, you’re basically able to be aware of your thoughts and reactions to certain things in the exact moment (present day!) Kids are growing and maturing. They’re starting to learn how to self-manage themselves. Meditating can help kids who are just starting to learn how to self-regulate. Studies show that kids who participate in yoga or meditation improve their ability to self-regulate. How awesome!
- Uh oh, what’s that on my face? Every child goes through puberty. If you have a pre-teen or teenager, you probably have noticed a change in their attitude and behavior. This is also the stage where kids start to become more curious and can be influenced by their peers. Meditation allows pre-teens and teenagers to access a much greater feeling, which is the access to a great feeling of inner solidity and safety. It also can increase their confidence. The Art of Living states in their article that meditation “allows them an insight into the inner wisdom to help them stay centered and strong through the hormonal changes in the body.” Looks like you’ll be hearing less of those “Leave me alone mom!” or “Ugh, you’re so annoying.” What parent wouldn’t want that?
Meditation has so many benefits on the body and mind of a child, pre-teen, and teenager. That’s why at Math Genie teachers make sure to include five minutes of yoga before every class!
Sources: Scott, Janette. "5 Reason's Why Children Need to Meditate." The Art of Living. Web
Walton, Alice G. "Science Shows Meditation Benefits Children's Brains And Behavior." Forbes. N.p., 18 Oct. 2016. Web.
Want to know where you can get free meditation music? Click the link below for guided meditation music for kids!