Many people who engage in meditation begin as adults as they often first learn about the practice and its benefits from their own research. However, meditation can be just as beneficial for children as it for adults. Arguably, it can be considered more beneficial to begin practicing meditating at a young age as you reap the benefits and the skills from meditation earlier as such improving one’s life earlier. For example, meditation commonly helps individuals learn to manage stress. Learning this at a young age is extremely beneficial as it helps build resilience.
Any benefit reaped from mediation as an adult can also be reaped as a child. Multiple studies have demonstrated multiple different benefits that can be attained by meditating as a child. For example, some studies have demonstrated that meditation can help young students achieve higher grades in school. Other than academic intelligence, research has also demonstrated meditation helps increase a child’s emotional intelligence and develop their interpersonal conflict problem solving abilities. Other interesting benefits that you children can get from meditating include:
- Improved working memory capacity
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Increased attention span
- Better ability to concentrate
- Better sleep
- Increased mental resilience
- Increased self-awareness
- Increased empathy
Furthermore, developing habits such as practicing meditation daily are easier to follow later in life. As meditation itself is a skill that takes time to develop it is great to start at a young age as it may be easier. Considering the fact that adult life is generally much more stressful than child life, it may be easier for a child to bring themselves to the present once they know how. So then, how can you get your child to meditate?
We’ve all seen how distracted children can get so it may seem hard to believe that they would be interested in sitting down and meditating. However, children are also often extremely excited by new experiences. The experience can even be made to be more fun for children by using guided meditation recording made for children. Furthermore, children are smart, and I am a strong believer in explaining things to them before asking them to try it. If you want your child to practice meditation, I think it is best to start off by simply explaining the practice to them and its benefits. When starting a meditation routine with a child I also suggest starting off with a one-minute dance session or jumping jacks, so all their jittery energy is out before attempting to mediate. Then make sure they find a position they are comfortable sitting in for a long amount of time and teach them to focus on their breath with breathing exercises. In between the breathing exercise you can ask them how they feel physically and mentally so that they learn to introspect while meditating.
Although meditating won’t produce instant results when practiced, it produces substantial beneficial results that last for life. As your child continues to practice meditation consistently the benefits will noticeably grow and improve their quality of life.