19 Oct How Meditation can help Children in Oxford
The Dalai Lama once said, “If every 8 year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”
For school going kids, nowadays it is a stressful experience with worries about peer pressure, studies, future decisions, and competition. Meditation can make children calmer, more peaceful, happier and relaxed – every time they practice it. This increases their attention in the classroom and of course the retention of the knowledge they gain.
One thing that grownups are perpetually concerned about in kids is attention. Studies have shown the effects of meditation on attention in adults with and without ADD/ADHD, and there’s some evidence that it can help kids focus, too. One 2004 study found that children with ADHD who learned meditation with their parents twice weekly in a clinic setting, and kept practicing at home, had better concentration at school, among other benefits. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children has also been show to help improve attention and behavior problems, and reduce anxiety in kids who started out with high anxiety levels.
Meditation helps kids learn how to pay attention to their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In turn, they are able to be more empathetic and more compassionate toward others. A lot of kids are dealing with major stressors at home, either in the form of chronic stress or outright trauma. Meditation and mindfulness have been shown to help kids who are dealing with stressors.
For kids who aren’t dealing with outright trauma, meditation has been thought to benefit overall mental health in kids, as it’s been shown to in adults, but this research is more in its infancy.
Parents who wish to teach their children about the art of meditation often wonder what the ideal age to begin the process is. Basically, there is no best age to start meditation. In fact, the earlier, the better. The first two years of a child consist of transition from the state of the womb to the real world. At this stage, the mother has a huge influence to the child. The baby is likely to adopt his or her mother’s characteristics. Thus, the mother can introduce meditation at this stage so as to shape the child’s personality and kick off intuition.
I am starting to work with a Primary school teching Mindfulness Oxford and feel very excited. Hopefully more schools will jump on board, particularly as more research is published and more success stories are shared. Even if your kids’ school doesn’t offer meditation or yoga yet, you can always introduce it to your kids at home, and see if you think it makes a difference for them, and for you!
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