Meditation and Mindfulness Changing Our Children’s Future
How many children do you know that would fit the definition of “zen”, “calm” or “meditation”? In fact most children you know are probably the furthest possible image in your mind when you think about the practice of meditation. There are a large number of parents schooling their children in the art of meditation and mindfulness relaxation techniques.
Kimberly Workman of Portland, OR said her seven year old son and six year old daughter have been practicing meditation in their martial arts class twice a week and doing yoga sessions at their grade school.
These are short sessions the children do not have the attention span to sit for an hour. The results from just a few minutes of silence are extremely powerful especially when it becomes part of their routine. I have seen firsthand changes in their behavior, attention and the ability to focus better on their homework.
When you are able to slow down even for a few minutes while staying alert it allows your brain to slow down and observe your surroundings with more attention and awareness. This ability to be more present or in the moment will have a positive effect on almost everything you do in life.
This idea of teaching meditation to children is gaining some good momentum. Schools around the nation are starting to catch on to the benefits of this practice and are educating parents and children about how powerful this practice can be. There are many programs out there that will help get you started with a meditation practice that will work for both you and your children.
Programs such as “The Meditation Mastery Plan” are great and will teach you how to build an evolving practice that can fit any life style.
One of the most important things to understand when starting a meditation program both yourself or your children is finding techniques and meditation strategies that fit your interest and can work in to your schedule.
As a meditation teacher for almost 30 years I have heard thousands of excuses as to why people do not practice meditation. One of the most common reasons is that they feel they do not have enough time.
EVERYONE HAS ENOUGH TIME FOR MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS.
There is an old Zen saying that I really like:
“Everyone should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you do not have time to sit for 20 minutes, then you should sit for an hour.”
You will not be successful if you try to make your young children sit for 60 minutes. That is why it is important to understand some of the different tools of meditation so you can find strategies that will be fun for your children and teach them how to find success with this new meditation and mindfulness practice.
There have been numerous studies proving that what I am saying is true.
A University in California performed a study with third-graders and had them performing 30 minutes of meditation twice a week for eight weeks. They found that the children had improved behavior, memory, attention and focus over the other children who were not meditating.
Another study led by researchers at the John Hopkins found that only eight weeks of meditation training was as effective as medication when treating anxiety, depression and pain.
Other studies have proven that meditation will help improve attendance, reduce suspensions, increase self-control and make students more respectful.
Children today have many things going on and their lives. Growing up today is much more stressful than growing up 20, 30 or 40 years ago. Meditation will help our children deal with the ever changing fast pace of today’s society.
Learn More about how to get you and your children started with meditation and mindfulness training.
Although the efforts to bring meditation to our youth are gaining momentum they still have a long way to go. If you are interested in starting a practice or would like to see meditation and mindfulness training in your children’s schools please reach to us here at Meditation Insights we hope to educate our youth and work towards a better future.