As someone who has been in school her entire life, either as a student, teacher, or administrator; and as someone who practices meditation daily, I highly support the daily practice of meditation for children. The benefits of meditation are astounding, as it helps you regulate your emotions; clears your mind of clutter, and makes you kinder and gentler. Why would we not want our children practicing something that can have such a powerful impact on how they feel and interact in the world? Here are a few of the benefits from meditation:
- Meditation increases focus and reduces impulsivity.
Meditation clears you mind and calms your emotions. This can drastically improve your focus. By spending just 10 minutes a day in mindful meditation, kids will be calmer, and able to sustain better. I think you would see a huge improvement in classroom behavior and performance. What teacher would not love this?
- Meditation reduces stress.
When you meditate you slow your breathing, you focus you mind on your breath or a simple thought. Your heart rate slows, your entire body relaxes. Stress reliever? You bet! When relaxed your brain can process information better, and you interact with each other better…which leads us to enhanced classroom performance and better behavior.
- Meditation increases empathy.
Meditation is well known to improve empathy for others, which is really important for children to not only learn, but to practice. With empathy for others, and more kindness flowing, we will see a decrease in kids mistreating other kids.
- Meditation empowers you.
During meditation you could have the children focus on empowering thoughts; the teacher can guide the children by talking about inner resolve and persistence. He or she can talk about sticking with tasks, sticking up for each other, and honoring yourself in all things. This will become a mainstay if the children understand what that means through daily practice.
- Meditation makes you view the world and your place in it better.
Kids are meant to be happy. Mindful meditation has been shown to improve your outlook on life. When you are happy, you do better at everything. By practicing daily a child’s outlook would improve and they would embrace life and all it has to offer! What parent would not want this sort of thing for their child?
- What The Research Says.
“A University of California study found second-and third-graders who practiced mindful meditation techniques for 30 minutes twice a week for eight weeks had improved behavior and scored higher on tests requiring memory, attention and focus than the non-mediators.
Another study of more than 3,000 children in the San Francisco Unified School District found a dramatic improvement in math test scores and overall academic performance among students who practiced transcendental meditation, a form of mediation that promotes relaxation and “an awakening” of the mind. The study also found a decrease in student suspensions, expulsions and dropout rates.
And other recent studies have demonstrated the ability of “mindfulness” techniques, especially those used in meditation, yoga and tai chi, to reduce impulsiveness, control emotions and ease stress.” (ABC News, May 21, 2013)
It is a challenge to find time to fit everything in during the course of a school day, which is why schools do not do this. But wouldn’t that be why you might want to fit it in? The more stressed you are for time, the more you need to try to slow down your brain and fully engage in the moment.