The modern world means being constantly on the run, a lot of screen time, mobile phones and social media. Not to mention the lack of a natural environment in suburbia. It’s constant stress, stress, stress. We know how it affects us as adults, but how is is effecting our children? One way that we can ensure children are more relaxed is by teaching them meditation from an early age. That is, teaching them how to take some time to relax and enjoy the moment. Meditation itself is the practice of using mindfulness to focus the mind on a certain object, thought, or activity. It trains us to pay attention and be aware, and helps to achieve clarity and stability, both mentally and emotionally. But why can this be beneficial for children?
It helps enhance focus:
In the past couple of generations, things have changed so much that attention spans can’t keep up. With the increasing popularity of tablets, mobile phones, and the internet we are constantly engrossed in a virtual world. Thirty years ago it was “normal” to sit and read a book, go for a walk, or be outdoors with other people. But not today; today’s world is a sensory overload. This can make it extremely difficult for children to focus and remain attentive. Meditation can teach them that it is possible to give their attention to one thing at a time, and that not being distracted is an awesome feeling.
It assists in fostering compassion and self-esteem:
Because of pressures/situations out of their control, children may at times feel like they are just not doing things well enough. This can be really tough on them, especially when they’re trying really hard or being picked on by others because they just can’t do the same things as others (or do them as well). The majority of the insecurities we have as adults stem from childhood experiences. This is another reason that meditation can be an excellent antidote: it has the ability to bolster children’s confidence, security, empathy and inner stability. This all helps to build up compassion, joy, and self-esteem. Meditation teaches us all – kids and adults alike – that right now is enough.
It is a confidence booster:
Mindfulness creates self-awareness and confidence. Confidence develops naturally when children learn from their meditation experiences. It shows them that they don’t need to react to all of their thoughts and emotions and teaches them to work out which thoughts/emotions are important to pay attention or respond to. A confident child is better equipped to deal with unfamiliar situations, which then allows them to become better problem solvers and develop a deeper appreciation of life.
It builds empathy and happiness:
There is an old adage; “you get what you give“. With this in mind, meditation helps children learn how to share their affection with other children. They learn how to be more patient and understanding towards others, they learn to listen more attentively, and to empathise with them. Some studies have found that within five weeks of regular meditation/mindfulness sessions, children have been reported to be more focused, participate more in activities, and show a more caring attitude towards others (Slate Magazine 2016). This resulted in the belief that mindful children have the tools needed to be happier children.
So at the end of the day, if your child is struggling to wind down and relax because of the stress of every day life, you may find that meditation/mindfulness will help. It may settle them, enhance their focus, or improve behaviours. In this modern, technology driven age, meditation is definitely something for you to consider.
At Angel’s Paradise, we believe in taking time out to enjoy what life has to offer.