May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it is only suitable that we talk about self-awareness and healthy methods to relieve stress.
While most people tend to associate meditation with the adult generations, children are proven to benefit from it as well. Introducing kids to mindfulness now, can help shape their coping mechanisms to stress and anxiety in the long-term.
With the benefits of meditation becoming more well-known, many schools have even started to swap detention with meditation. An elementary school in Baltimore has found stunning results after replacing detention with meditation. Instead of misbehaving kids spending an hour sitting in a dull room, they are encouraged to meditate and practice breathing techniques to help them relax and recenter. Since the implementation of this new detention program, the school has seen zero suspensions.
While implementing meditation in detention has proven to be a great alternative to the regular stare-at-the-wall detention programs, it is even better when practiced outside of detention and could even prevent kids from going to detention in the first place.
Here are some of the benefits that mediation has on children.
- Increased attention
- Self-awareness and self-regulation
- Calms the nervous system and decreases stress hormones
- Helps social-emotional development
- Increases attendance and school grades
And here are a few meditation tips so you can start practicing mindfulness with your students or kids whether it be in the classroom or at home.
- Be wary of peak timings
The length and timing of meditation can vary for different kinds of people and practices, but here are some base times that pediatricians recommend.
Preschool children: A few minutes per day.
Grade school children: 3-10 minutes twice a day.
Teens and adults: 5-45 minutes per day or more based on preference.
- Incorporate it into their bedtime routines
Make mindfulness a daily practice in your household by incorporating it as part of your kid’s bedtime routine. It will help your child wind down, relax and have a better night’s sleep.
- Research and try different methods
There are many different ways to find out about meditation techniques. Download audiobooks, read articles, try apps, online trainings, books or videos and choose a practice that works best for your kids.