Meditation for teens and children should become a priority both at home and in schools.
It’s the best prescription we can give our children that we don’t need a doctor for.
When children learn at a young age how to control their emotions, you’re giving them a competitive advantage that many adults don’t even have.
And though I use the word “meditation” it doesn’t necessarily even have to be whatever you consider meditation to be.
It’s teaching mindfulness to our children so that they are more conscious and aware of not only their feelings and emotions, but others. It’s also having the knowledge and skills to regulate our emotions.
In this post we’ll discuss:
- Why teaching Meditation and Mindfulness are crucial for kids today
- Simple ways to start practicing these habits at home
Ready? Let’s jump in!
Why Meditation for Teens is Crucial
Take just 15 minutes and watch this powerful TEDx talk given by Adam Avin with your family.
First, wasn’t his talk and the words of wisdom imparted by his Great Grandpa Jack incredible? The three lessons he taught Adam at a young age are so powerful:
- Think well to be well
- Smile and the world will smile with you
- Smile and say Thank You
Life can be challenging at times for all of us. Today, we face more distractions then we’ve ever faced in history with the advancements of technology.
And though technology is amazing, it can weigh on our emotions.
When you and I were children, once school was over, we’d be able to disconnect and reset once home. But today, our kids are connected every waking hour, and this can play with their emotions, especially when they’re not taught how to self-regulate their emotions.
Teaching our children mindfulness and meditation techniques will help them reduce stress and allow the brain to relax.
Study after study shows that teaching children this will:
- Lower negative emotions
- Increase kindness towards others
- Build empathy
- Reduce stress
- Increase focus and attention
- Increase productivity
- Increase happiness
- Increase the probability of living a successful life
Those are just 8 examples of the benefits for teen and tween meditation, but there are countless others.
How to Start Practicing Mindfulness & Meditation at Home
If this isn’t being taught in your children’s school yet, no worries, there’s plenty you can do at home.
There are over 100 classes you can take on Skillshare about mindfulness and meditation. They actually have a great 21-Day Mindfulness and Meditation challenge that teaches you 50 different techniques.
Goldie Hawn’s MindUP nonprofit shares the following four ideas:
- Put down devices for a bit and just take a walk outside and immerse yourself in being present in the moment with them.
- Have a family gratitude practice around the Dinner Table. Have everyone share something they’re grateful for that day. Try to make it something different each day because we often forget all the ways we are blessed if we just don’t take a moment to appreciate them. Karen Stone shared with me, recently, a post she wrote titled “When Gratefulness Slaps You Right Upside Your Head.” It’s a quick and beautiful story in which she points out how much we all have to be grateful for that goes unnoticed at times.
- Teach and practice mindful breathing, together. Adam shared how his sister at the age of 5 was doing this and how simple it is. Focused breathing exercises can help calm anxiety and our emotions in just moments. Simply breathe in for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds and then release for 5 seconds. Do this just 3-5 times and you’ll instantly begin to notice yourself becoming relaxed. This can be done before any stressful event to relax yourself before performing a test, a presentation at work, a competition or whatever! Try it and let us know how it works for your family in the comments below.
- Build a winning mindset that is positive by reflecting nightly about something that you did well that day. Consider getting your child a journal to make this a daily practice.
If you’re looking for further ideas, we wrote an extensive guide on how to practice mindfulness with kids that lists several additional ideas. In that post, Dr. Natash Sharma shares the importance of journaling nightly, whether you’re a child or parent. So go ahead, give it a try!
Lastly, if your unsure how to meditate, Skillshare does have many classes on this by licensed coaches.
Personally, we bought our children and ourselves the Muse headband to help us, as a family, make this a daily practice. The headband gamified meditating, which helped in getting my kids to start. You can save money for the family by sharing the same headset FYI because it’s controlled by your phone and easy to switch between family members.
Conclusion: Teaching Mindfulness and Meditation to Kids
The pace we move at today is faster than yesterday and will continue to speed up with the advancement of technology.
We’ve shared before that the negative media, social media, the current inadequate structure of our education system, marketers (that $5 must-have cup of coffee) and peers are constantly impacting our children’s confidence and emotions.
Most schools aren’t teaching our children how to deal with this, so it’s the best gift we can give our children that will help them today and tomorrow.
In the TedX talk above by Adam Avin, he shares in his closing remarks to try the following to begin practicing this daily:
- Pick up the phone and call a friend instead of texting
- Believe in yourself instead of comparing yourself to the fake pictures you see on social media
- Remember you are worthy and tell yourself daily that you can make a difference in the world
- Make a new friend today
- Make a effort to be nice to someone
- Lend a hand
- Make today count
What are you doing at home to help your child learn these skills? Do you have questions?