Top 3 Benefits for Kids and Teens to Meditate

Teach your children to meditate for many benefits. As a Best Mindset Coach and Certified in Guided Imagery, I work with families at a pediatric hospital.  A young boy who had been taught meditation and guided imagery was faced with a medical procedure that scared him.  He told his mom who said, “What would Ms. Vicki have you do?”  The 10-year-old said, “Go to my happy, safe place.”  And that’s what he did. The mom told me this story later as she smiled and reported how the procedure went well, and her son had stayed calm.

Research shows Children who practice yoga, meditation and mindfulness build skills of attention and self-awareness. They have better self-control and make wiser decisions.  They also learn to be more in charge of emotions and behaviors.

1. Social-Emotional Development  

One study found that a social-emotional learning program used with mindfulness was more effective than a classic “social responsibility” program.  Kids in the former treatment had greater empathy, perspective, and emotional control, compared to the control group. They were also more “social” and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than in the control group.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children (MBCT-C) has also been shown to help improve attention and behavior problems, and reduce anxiety in kids who started out with high anxiety levels.

2.  Attention and Focus

Grownups are concerned about kids and attention. Studies have shown meditation helps children with Attention Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD.   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. A study in 2013 showed that in boys with ADHD reduced hyperactive behaviors and improved concentration within eight weeks..  

3. Self-Awareness and Self-Control

Mindfulness is intimately connected to self-awareness and naturally to self-regulation. If children learn to be more aware of thought processes and reactions in the present moment, kids learn to manage their own internal conflicts better. And the research has backed this up: one study found that kids who learned mindful awareness practices (MAPs) had better executive function after eight weeks of training twice a week.

Children continue to feel stress at home and at school. Our kids deserve to be equipped with tools to help them better cope. As for parents and teachers, raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted children often feels overwhelming. Parents and educators deserve to know and practice mind-body tools, as well.

If you want to learn more about an upcoming workshop series for Children, Teens, and Families, Click HERE.  In our next segment, we’ll talk about the benefits of Group Meditation.   

Wishing you peace!

 

Vicki Atlas Israel is passionate about helping you and your family stress less, while adding more love and joy.  She’s a Best Mindset Coach, Certified in Guided Imagery, a Consultant at a pediatric hospital, and the author of National Bestseller Inner Power NOW: Healing Meditations to Reduce Stress and Pain so Children and Families Thrive. The Foreword is written by Jack Canfield, famous for co-creating Chicken Soup for the Soul® series. Click Here to order her book or contact Vicki for individual coaching at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

Help Children Thrive with Guided Imagery

There’s research that teaching young people Guided Imagery and mindfulness techniques can help their young minds develop stronger and improve academic performance.

How would you like your children to feel…

  • Much calmer and happier?
  • Get along better with their peers?
  • Improve their learning and focus?

Teaching Mindfulness and Guided Imagery to children can help bring more calm, less stress, and help their cognitive abilities and focus.   Research studies show how Guided Imagery and meditation strengthens the part of the brain in the prefrontal cortex, where focus and cognition are impacted.   It also enhances overall wellbeing as it calms the reptilian part of the brain–the fight or flight response.

It’s great that some educators are beginning to teach mindfulness and meditation in schools.  The results speak for themselves with schools who are introducing meditation instead of detention.  Schools that adopted that in Baltimore showed that attendance increases as suspension rates go down.

Meditation and mindfulness can help children build emotional intelligence and resilience, as well.   But it is so much more than that.  These kids will begin to accept themselves—even the hard feelings–with more compassion and loving kindness.

Even young Children can learn breathing techniques that help them to be more present.  We teach a technique called “Take Five-High Five.”  If you breathe and settle for five seconds, it can help bring a child to a more relaxed state, so she is more available to learn and get along with others.  Our aim is to begin early.  Check out the CalmingCorner.com where Guided Imagery and Mindfulness are calming kids at preschools.

Wishing you peace,

Vicki