Meditation for children just might be the key to raising offspring with a sense of focus and well being. Introducing meditation, yoga and spirituality is one of the greatest gifts we can give them as it helps set their future on a nourishing and creative course.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation is a state of awareness. It is not an act of ‘Doing’ but a state of ‘Being’.
It is a state of profound, deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely aware.
Meditation is not a religion so people from many walks of faith partake in the benefits of meditation.
‘Meditation’ is an English term for a wide range of practices and techniques. I use age appropriate techniques that foster the child’s total growth and development. These are not the same techniques I would teach someone who is aspiring for higher knowledge. The children’s techniques are more of the breathing and visualization type and only last between 5-15 minutes.
I also may teach walking meditation as this is a good group exercise and great for all ages of people who just can’t seem to sit still! Walking meditation is time to focus on the self and to notice the many, simple beautiful things that go unnoticed every day such as the flowers in the park or sun glistening off of the dew on the grass.
As adults, we often think that childhood is a time of no worries, responsibilites, obligations, or cares. However, when we look back on our own childhood experiences, we know that this is an inaccurate representation. Stress affects children too as they absorb the energy from their environment. With today’s children having the stresses of technology, being a military child (moving or absent parents), divorced parents, keeping up a full schedule of school and extracurricular activities, bullying and societal pressures, experiences of abuse, or behavioral disorders, it seems they have their plates full.
MEDITATION MAY HELP WITH THE FOLLOWING ISSUES:
~Stress ~Anxiety ~Panic Attacks ~Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
~Hyperactivity ~Aggression ~Restlessness ~Sleeping Challenges
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION FOR CHILDREN:
~Reduced Anxiety and/or Prolonged Stress ~Reduction in the Symptoms of ADHD
~A Calmer Sense of Being ~Regular, Restful Sleep Schedules
~A Sense of Relaxation ~Clearer Memory ~Better Creativity
~Increased Tranquility ~Better Coping Skills with Stress in the Moment
~Acceptance is a huge part of yoga and mediation and when children learn its okay to accept themselves, they are easily more accepting of others.
~If child and parent experience this together, they can enjoy the benefits while also creating a special bond with one another
RESEARCH AND STUDIES
~Research conducted through the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) at UCLA showed the participants (teenagers and adults with ADD), experienced significant improvements in inattention and hyperactivity.
A 6 year old child with ADHD was helped to improve his attention span during the study. During his first session, he rolled around on the floor unable to sit still. A few sessions later, he joined the class for a few minutes and was able to participate longer each subsequent class. He has carried this ability over into his everyday life.
Yoga was seen to help a girl who suffered from a mild form of Autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome. She refused to come to the class for a year but after a few years of teaching, she was meditating for up to thirty minutes.
~United States Marine Corps held an 8 week program of Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga where marines meditated for an average of 12 minutes per day, resulting in better sleep, improved athletic performance and higher emotional and cognitive evaluations than those marines who did not participate in the program.
~Research conducted through the University of Wisconsin shows that people who meditate even for small amounts of time shift brain activity in the frontal regions of the brain towards a pattern indicative of greater positive, approach-oriented emotional states.
~Research conducted through the University of New South Wales-Australia and Institute of Psychiatry- London, Uk showed results of improvement in children’s ADHD behavior, self-esteem, and relationship quality. Children described benefits at home (better sleep, less anxiety) and at school (better concentration, less conflict with others). Parents reported feeling happier, less stressed and more able to manage their child’s behavior. This investigation may offer meditation as an effective management tool for families.
~Washington Times 2013
~Sage Journals 2004
~Psychology Today 2011