It’s interesting; we tend to think of meditation as something only for adults, but why is that? Maybe it’s because we assume children don’t have the patience or brainpower to effectively meditate. However, when you really think about it, though, there’s no reason children can’t, or shouldn’t, meditate. In fact, maybe that impatience we assume is an inherent child trait is something that is really just the product of children not knowing how to control their mind and their impulses, much in the same way many adults don’t.
Another assumption we often make about children is that they are immune, or unaffected, by stress. That is hardly the case, however. Children feel stress and are affected by it in the exact same way adults are. If you don’t believe this, just think back to your childhood…
Remember the stress you felt when you had to take a big test at school you weren’t prepared for? Remember the stress and fear you felt when you knew you did something wrong and you were worried that your parents would find out and you would get in trouble? Or, what about the quintessential over-achievers – the children who ace every class, get on the honor roll, play ever sport, etc… — don’t you think they are stressed out to the max?
If you are wondering if your child is stressed out, here are some of the common symptoms you can look for:
- Memory loss
- Aches and pains
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Lack of concentration
- Negative outlook
- Constant worrying
- Sleep problems
- Frequent illness
ABC News recently did a story about one man who had this very same revelation and decided to start meditating daily with his son. Andrew Kelly is from Boston, MA, and him and his son, Hayden, have been meditating for 12 minutes before school, every morning, since Hayden was seven-years old. The decision to meditate for 12 minutes was mostly an arbitrary one – it’s Hayden’s favorite number – but it just goes to show you there is no certain amount of time that you have to meditate for.
Kelly told ABC that the type of meditation they practice is mindfulness meditation – more specifically focused breathing – and that it helps his son’s brain “chill out.”
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