Every parent wishes for their child to be healthy and active. They never really mind if they get all grimy and dirty from play.
As long as they’re out and about instead of hiding away in their room, any parent would instinctively feel relieved. Just seeing their children high on energy makes them feel content with the way they raise their kids.
This ideal image of a healthy child used to be seen as the standard of good parenting. An energetic child was the result of constant tender loving care from his or her parents.
In those days, meditation for kids seemed odd, as children hardly sat still for more than a couple of minutes.
However, circumstances have changed drastically since then, and perhaps parents ought to rethink meditation for kids. Here are some reasons why…
The Various Issues Parents Face Today
Society is constantly changing at a very fast pace, and parenting today isn’t the same as it was.
According to the 2015 statistics report of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6 million children in America have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This number proves the alarming rate at which children struggle with controlling their behavior and focus.
And ADHD isn’t the only issue that today’s parents face.
Modern-day parents are also being challenged by the presence of technology in their children’s lives.
A Pew Internet Survey found that 87% of 2500 teachers thought that kids today have shorter attention spans due to their use of technology. Not to mention the number of children who become inactive by playing endless hours of video games at home.
What Can Parents Do To Address These Issues?
The good news is, it’s not a dead-end situation. Parents have a few more secret weapons to help improve the lives of their children.
One of the solutions available to them is meditation for kids.
While a lot of parents may think that meditation is a very “adult” activity, they should not be put off by this. ‘
If you think about it, kids today experience the same problems adults do.
Although their stress comes from totally different sources, we can’t deny that they still suffer its effects. With this in mind, there’s no reason why they can’t give meditation a try.
Below is a list of reasons why meditation for kids may be one of the best decisions you’ll make as a parent:
How Meditation For Kids Can Help Both You And Your Child
1. It Is Said To Improve ADHD
ADHD is often thought of as a behavioral problem; a consequence of a lack of control or self-discipline.
Some experts claim that children with ADHD lack mindfulness, which causes them to behave the way they do even outdoors.
Although there is no solid proof that meditation can truly help children with ADHD, there are currently a lot of studies exploring its possibilities.
Meditation teaches focus and mindfulness of one’s surroundings—two key traits that children with ADHD need to learn.
Today, children with ADHD are often prescribed a multitude of drugs.
Not only can this be harmful to young kids, the amount of money needed for such medication can also be unaffordable for many.
Meditation for kids is technically easy to learn and friendlier to one’s budget.
Instead of relying on pills and tablets, try a holistic and practical approach—perhaps the effects of meditation can truly help improve ADHD kids’ conditions.
2. It Helps Them Relieve Stress
Some parents make the grave mistake of thinking that their kids do not feel stress.
After all, they just play games or watch cartoons all day, there’s nothing to be stressed about, right?
Sadly, this could not be more wrong.
They might not say it out loud, but they could be having difficulties with school, or perhaps their social life is affecting them in a negative way.
And look inside your own home too—a chaotic family life isn’t just stressful for adults, but for kids as well.
As parents, our natural instincts tell us to protect our young.
When we find something or someone that tries to cause pain to our kids, our first reaction is to eliminate those factors.
However, we won’t always be around to handle things for our children. Our job as a parent is to help them to learn how to deal with their troubles on their own.
One way to do this is through the power of meditation. Meditation is already a well-known way for adults to relieve stress, and the same results can be achieved for children.
Invite your child to a moment of silence, and practice some breathing exercises together. You will help ease their tension while teaching them a valuable tool for later in life.
3. It Strengthens Their Ability To Focus
Children today are constantly exposed to a variety of distractions. From the internet to social media , even the way they communicate with friends can cause them to be distracted.
The instinctive solution may be to cut children off from their devices—but we all know that confiscating their phones or limiting their internet usage will most likely end up in a heated argument—or worse, tantrums.
There is definitely nothing wrong with wanting to stay connected and updated. But when this gets in the way of being able to focus on the task at hand, it is time to intervene.
Meditation for kids can be used as a way for them to regain their focus. If it can help adults focus on their work, it should also be able to work for them.
4. It Assists Them With Emotional Development
Most kids aren’t very good at explaining how they feel, especially the younger ones.
It could be due to a lack of vocabulary to describe the situation, or simply because they’ve yet to make the connection between their thoughts and feelings.
Whatever the case may be, the least parents can do is to listen to their kids. No matter how minute the problem may seem, parents should not dismiss or ignore the presence of such feelings.
It can often take some time for children to coherently explain what they feel.
Instead of trying to force the answer out of them, provide them with a tool to help them understand exactly what it is that they are feeling.
Through some quiet meditation, they can take the time to discern what they are feeling, and where it is coming from.
As adults, we also have difficulties explaining the way we feel—our emotions are often very complex. So we can’t expect our children to fully grasp concepts that even we can’t understand.
It’s okay if your kids can’t identify the exact emotion they are going through. But knowing what may have caused it and how to deal with it may be of utmost importance.
With this in mind, meditation can certainly help your children figure out how to handle their feelings better.
5. It Builds Up Their Self-Esteem
Meditation allows us to take the time to pay attention to ourselves.
It is a time for us to listen to our own thoughts and to our own heart. It is often said that meditation is a form of self-love, and truly, it is a practice where we take care of our own spiritual needs.
The same can be said about meditation for kids. Through their meditation practice, kids will develop a sense of stability.
They will also learn how to accept their flaws and mistakes without beating themselves up.
More importantly, meditation can help build up their self-esteem.
Our childhood years are very important, as it is during this time that we shape our mindsets and belief systems. A close look at one’s past can reveal much about their personality.
In fact, our insecurities and worries are more often than not a product of how we were raised as children.
We all know that the world today isn’t very kind or forgiving when it comes to superficial things like appearance.
The media constantly tells us that we need to be skinnier or prettier to be accepted in society. Imagine the impact this has on our kids and their peers.
We can’t stop big media companies from producing such kinds of advertisements. But perhaps meditation for kids can help alleviate the effect it has on our kids.
6. It Teaches Them The Value Of Compassion
Through meditation, we learn how to connect ourselves with our surroundings and the people around us. As well as becoming aware of our own feelings, we also begin to realize why we feel them.
And once we can understand the source of our own pain and suffering, we are also able to recognize the hurt others may be feeling.
Meditation teaches kids about empathy. Being compassionate isn’t something that can be learned from a textbook.
And unless parents practice it themselves, their kids will have no idea how to show empathy towards others as well.
The great thing about meditation for kids is that it isn’t just about internal growth—it also has a lot to do with how children interact with others.
By understanding their own situation, they will be able to make a connection with other kids who are going through the same problem.
Many of us grow up resenting the kids who bullied us in the past.
In fact, some of us may still be hoping for a chance to get even. Such people fail to realize that holding on to anger does not result in better things for the future.
In fact, this way of thinking begins to take shape in childhood.
Meditation for kids isn’t a form of protection from such pain. Your child still needs to go through such situations as he or she grows older.
But the good news is that meditation can help them see the bigger picture. They will be able to learn from their experiences and become more compassionate towards others.
7. It Makes Them Happier Children
Although we hate to admit it, we can’t deny that kids today are not as happy as they should be.
Technology offers them a chance to connect with the world, but they are more distant than ever from the world around them. From an increasingly young age, children already depend on material possessions as their main source of happiness.
Moreover, kids today feel more stress and pressure than ever.
With equally high demands academically and socially, it is unfortunate that kids aren’t behaving as they should anymore.
Give your kids a chance to enjoy their childhood by teaching them how to meditate. Through meditation for kids, they are able to release those tensions and to detach themselves from expectations.
They will learn to be more grateful for what they already have as they become more mindful of their blessings.
Perhaps the ideals of the past aren’t so far off from the truth—an active and energetic child is indeed healthy. But it’s not simply because they seem to be full of life, but rather that they seem to be happy children.
Maybe modern-day parents should pay more attention not only to the physical health of their kids but also to their spiritual health.
From A Parent’s Point Of View
Parenting can be a very tough challenge. It’s one of the great tests of life and does not come with a textbook or a manual.
Sadly, many parents fall into the trap of aiming for perfection, ultimately forgetting what is truly important.
While it’s great to raise a bright kid who prevails at anything they do, nothing is more satisfying than seeing your own child happy.
We have been told countless times of the benefits of meditation—and if it’s working for you, why not invite your children to join you? Why shouldn’t meditation be a family activity?
Allow yourself to grow spiritually with your kids, and see how more connected you can be as a family.
Allen Wei is someone who believes in living his best life, focusing on balance, happiness, and relaxation. He fosters a positive lifestyle in terms of his body, mind, and environment, and he is a huge proponent of learning to be balanced via relaxation techniques integrated into our busy lives.