I have found children to be natural meditators. As adults, we sometimes forget that children have busy lives too and are exposed to the same distractions, pressures and resulting emotions, at an early age. Because children are naturally sensitive to their environment and the emotions around them, they often experience very similar stress symptoms from over stimulation, school pressures and even just the regular day to day rhythm of life.
Developing a meditation practice with your children is one way to help everyone in the house to achieve balance, both as a family and individually. It’s a simple way to help us to slow down, to take time out to recognise and appreciate the beauty present in our lives, while providing a powerful tool to help us navigate all the challenges that life throws up. Guiding your children into meditation is low to no-cost, requires very little time, and is a potentially lifelong gift.
In a study conducted in Australia at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, 50% of children who were on medication either reduced or stopped their medication completely, and continued to improve their symptoms through continued meditation
The children with ADHD who learned how to meditate, when compared to the waiting list control group, showed a significant reduction of the main symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention. The study also noted improvements in the child-parent relationship and enhanced self-esteem in children.
benefits to children
During meditation, our breath and heart rate are regulated, and the body and mind stilled, allowing for a greater awareness of our environment and ourselves.
For adults and children alike, the physical and emotional benefits are numerous, yet individual. Studies indicate that children who regularly meditate experience the following aspects of wellbeing:
- greater sense of calm/peace
- connection to nature
- better focus
- enhanced creativity
- reduced tension and stress
- strengthened immune system
- enhanced sleep
- better control over negative reactions
- improved relationships
- greater awareness of emotions (positive and negative)
- improved self confidence
- greater compassion for others
Vedic meditation can be learned by children from the age of 5. Taught in a private one-on-one basis, the course of instruction for children runs along the following lines.
30 minute session to discuss the technique and what they can expect
1 hour session where the technique is introduced and the child receives their “word of wisdom”
1 hour session to check their practice and answer any questions
(7 to 10 days after initial instruction)
30 minute follow up session
It is essential that at least one parent of the child must already be a vedic meditator for their child to learn. There are many reasons why this is important. Children are prone to copying the behaviour of their parents. So the best way to start a child on their meditation journey is to lead by example.
When your child observes you during meditation, it sets a tone that they can learn from. When my mum meditates, my nephews come and sit quietly next to her and they get to enjoy the silence as well. A meditated, happy and calm parent is the best role model for a child to imitate. If you do not currently meditate, we can fix that pretty easily.