kid practicing meditation

Meditation for Kids: Benefits & Guide

There is a great deal of information about meditation and how good it is for you.  But did you know, meditation is also great for kids?  Meditation can help your children live a calmer more centered life. 

Kids and Stress: What is it and how our meditations for kids will help yours?

In today’s world kids are under more stress than they ever have been.  A  survey that was done by WebMD found that 72% of kids are stressed and 62% of those have physical symptoms such as headaches.  In this article, you will find very useful information about the benefits of meditations for kids and how it can alleviate their stress levels. Teaching your children mindfulness and meditation will help him face the daily challenges he faces with ease.

There are a variety of things that are causing kids to stress these days:

School

relaxed children enjoying life at school

Remember the days when you went to school, did your lessons and had a few pages of homework?  Schools today are different.  Schools have higher expectations for their students.  Many are requiring kids to map out a career path before they even get to high school saying they will be left behind if they don’t.  Most kids need more time to figure out what they want to do in life.  

Many schools have state academic standards they are trying to meet and they push their students to learn the material with heavy homework loads so they can rank top in their state which is determined by special exams.  This type of performance testing is causing a lot of stress among kids and teens alike. Our children’s meditation app will help your kid manage stress from a young age, this way he will never feel overwhelmed by daily school problems.

A survey done by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 45% of kids were stressed out by school pressure and workloads. Teen stress is equaling the stress adults feel.

Social Media

Social media is a way of life for most kids.  Social media allows kids to see what their friends are doing through pictures.  If they are not invited to something like a birthday party, they know it.  Many kids are feeling left out because their friends are doing things without them.

Because most teens have cell phones or tablets, social media and media, in general, allow kids to be exposed to more adult content both violent and sexual at a younger age. 

Another growing issue with social media is bullying.  Kids and teens are being bullied and teased on social media.  Not only does it cause stress, but it can also cause depression and anxiety.

Stacked Schedules

Many kids have as busy a schedule as their parents.  There’s school, after school programs, sports, music, etc. that kids need to worry about going to.  On top of that, there are doctors appointments and family obligations.  Kids don’t just come home anymore and relax, they have to worry about where they are supposed to be next.

Don’t Get Enough Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, many parents report that after school activities and homework interfere with their kids getting enough sleep.  Electronic devices in the bedroom is another culprit that robs kids and teens of about an hours worth of sleep.  If your kid is having trouble falling asleep, you should check out our children’s bedtime stories & meditations from inside our app.

Signs That Your Child May Be Stressed

It’s normal for kids to experience stress.  If the stress begins to disrupt your child’s life, however, then it becomes a problem.  Here are some symptoms you may notice if your child is experiencing more than the normal amount of stress:

  • Withdrawing from friends
  • Changes with grades and school performance
  • Acting more moodier or irritable than normal
  • Change in eating or sleeping pattern
  • Frequent headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Getting sick more often

If these symptoms sound familiar, it’s time to connect with your child regularly.  Your child or teen may just need to talk.  Kids worry it’s natural.  If the problem seems to be more serious, such as persistent stress or physical problems, seek counseling. Helping your child to learn meditation and mindfulness from a young age, will definitely benefit him as an adult.

Solutions for Stressed-out Kids: Meditations & Bedtime stories

Children's meditations & bedtime stories
Illustration of Kids Learning Yoga Through the Help of an Instructor

There are a few things you can do to help your kids be resilient. 

Eat Healthy

Eating healthy is an important component of managing stress.  Make sure your child is eating a proper diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Eating right gives your body the fuel to handle stressful situations and the antioxidants in vegetables help keep the immune system strong.

Sleep

Not getting enough sleep affects stress levels.  Sleep is the body’s time to heal and prepare for the challenges of the next day.  When kids don’t get enough sleep, they can have trouble focusing at school causing their grades to falter.

Meditation for Kids

Just like for adults, meditation is a great way to give your kids an outlet and help them manage stress.  You might be wondering if kids will be open to meditation.  The answer is yes!  Even when they are little they practice mindfulness.

Have you ever watched a toddler eat?  They pick up their food examine it, smell it and then put it in their mouth.  You’ll also notice that when they eat they may move it around their mouth for several seconds before they chew and swallow.  This is mindfulness!  It’s actually easier for kids to get themselves in a mindful state than it is for us adults who have preconceived notions about everything. 

Although not heavily studied like meditation for adults.  Many schools are recognizing the value of meditation for kids.  The Compassion for Kids Project in Louisville, Kentucky has begun taking a holistic approach to education by integrating mindful meditation for kids into its education plan. 

Children will learn to relax through meditations and bedtime stories

A pilot children’s meditation test was done in the San Franciso School District that incorporated 30 minutes of quiet reflection time for their students over a 4 year period.  To make up for the 30 minutes of academic time lost, schools extended the school day during the pilot for 30 minutes.  Not expecting much to happen, they actually experienced incredible results.  During this time period, the suspension rate was reduced by 21% and academic performance improved!

In another project in Baltimore, disruptive elementary age school kids were sent to a mindful moment room where they practiced yoga, breathing exercises and spoke to a counselor on how to manage their emotions.  This brought the suspension rate from 4 to 0. 

Benefits of Meditation for Kids

kids meditation stories

Here are some of the benefits that kids experience when they learn to meditate:

Increased Focus

Kids get distracted.  They have phones, social media, and texting making it difficult to focus and stay focused.  Meditation can help kids learn to focus their attention on one task at a time and keep their attention span going. 

Helps Foster Self-Esteem

There are a lot of things that can undermine self-esteem in kids.  Bullying, teasing, not being “popular” and not being able to keep up with the other kids they know.  Meditation helps foster feelings of security and inner peacefulness teaching kids that right now this moment is good enough. 

Fosters Caring and Happiness

The Journal of Child and Family Studies published a study that took 409 children who exhibited behavior problems and found that after 5 weeks of mindful meditation sessions, teachers reported that these same children were paying attention, exhibiting self-control and showing more respect to fellow students. 

How To Get Your Kids To Start Meditating

If you are worried about how to get your kids meditating, it might be easier than you think.  Here are some tips for starting your child on the path of meditation.

Lead by Example

If you don’t already have a meditation practice, now may be the time to start.  If you are meditating, it opens their mind to meditation too.  Children are naturally curious and they will want to know what you are doing.  Cultivate the meditation seed in their mind and let them know how meditation helps you. You can find a lot of children meditation in MindTastik app, alongside with a great collection of bedtime stories developed to help them fall asleep easier and faster.

Make Meditation Relatable

Depending on the age of your child or children, you want to make meditation relatable to them so they enjoy it.  If you have a 7-year-old for instance, tell them to imagine what their breath looks like as it goes through their body.  They might see a bird flying through their body and out their mouth or the wind blows the trees!

Meditation Space

Find a space in your home and set it up for meditation.  Make it inviting and quiet so that it is a respite from a hectic schedule. 

What Types of Meditation Work for Children

meditation for children will help them enrich their immagination

Kids can practice the same types of meditations as adults.  If your kids are younger there are meditations that are geared for younger children.

  • Guided meditation for kids to help them focus on their breath
  • Guided sleep meditations to help kids relax
  • Meditation music to help with concentration
  • Nighttime meditations to help kids get ready for bed
  • Kids bedtime and sleep meditation to help kids relax and sleep better

Apps can add a great deal of value to a meditation practice for adults and for kids. Using a meditation app is both easy and fun.  Kids naturally know how to navigate apps, so finding the right meditation is easy.

Kids are feeling more and more pressure to live up to adult expectations.  School, homework, after school activities and liberal access to media, are adding anxiety and stress to kid’s and teen’s lives.

Studies and pilot programs have shown that meditation can greatly benefit kids.  Meditation can help your kids focus at school, help them manage emotions and help them be happier individuals. 

MindTastik offers hundreds of meditations to help both you and your kids with stress.  As a result, we developed: have guided meditations, meditations for anxiety and meditations to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.  There are meditations for all ages on the app.  You can download MindTastik at the Apple App Store or Google Play.

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