Meditation and mindfulness exercises can not only have an immediate positive effect on children, but also benefit them in adult life.
In general, meditation can already be practiced by very young children. The exercises must be appropriate for the age of the children, in terms of content, length and form. Meditation exercises for young children are therefore usually shorter, their content is easy to understand and the wording is deliberately kept simple. With increasing age of the children and adolescence, the mindfulness exercises and meditation lessons can then gradually become more demanding. BuddhaBoo takes into account the age-related differences in attention span, patience, receptivity and cognitive factors in an optimal way and therefore differentiates within the age ranges.
Numerous national and international studies prove the fundamental and effective benefits of mindfulness and meditation exercises. Whether for children or for adults – the following benefits are of great value across generations.
Stress and overwork are not problems which only affects the adult world. Increased demands at school, sports clubs, music schools or other leisure activities can have a negative influence on children’s naturally low resilience. The result: the level of stress and frustration rises. And that is one thing above all: unhealthy.
Through special meditation exercises, children can learn to deal with high demands and stress better. They act as a kind of valve and can even help them to master challenges effectively well into adulthood.
Educators, teachers and parents frequently state that the increasing consumption of media and technology can have a negative influence on the ability to concentrate, cognition and attention. This, in turn, can affect the general performance or the academic development of children.
Through special mindfulness exercises, even the youngest children learn to focus on the here and now, not to be distracted by external circumstances and to increase their attention span. A skill that can be of great benefit until old age.
Fears play a decisive role, especially for children. It does not matter whether the anxiety originates from real worries or from the child’s imagination. Meditation and mindfulness exercises help to control these fears, to evaluate them more realistically and therefore not to give them too much weight.
Children can be tremendously happy about small things and in the next moment have a huge tantrum or weeping terrible – everyone who has children is familiar with that kind of situations. For parents, these intense emotions are not always understandable – but often just as little for the child. The ability to better understand and evaluate situations and circumstances learned through mindfulness exercises can reduce the emotional fireworks in a way that is appropriate for children.
Meditators are said to be especially sensitive, to be able to put themselves in other people’s shoes easily and to be empathetic. For children and adolescents this is of particular interest. If they become aware of how their actions affect their surroundings, they may be less inclined to provoke conflicts or even tease other children.
Meditation brings happiness – so simple, so important. Regardless of the positive influence on problems or challenges in everyday life, meditation can help to increase the general sense of happiness and to live a balanced life. In addition, it has been proven to have a positive effect on health by strengthening the immune system.
Mindfulness training is a feasible intervention in a subset of ADHD adults and adolescents and may improve behavioral and neurocognitive impairments. A controlled clinical study is warranted. (J. of Att. Dis. 2008; 11(6) 737-746) → Link to the article
A mindfulness program for children aged 7–9 years […] may significantly decrease negative affect and improve meta-cognition. → Open study
Relative to the control group, significant improvements in self-reported stress, self-regulation, school-specific self-efficacy and interpersonal problems were found among the students who participated in the MBSR course → open study
[…] this research suggests that […] mindfulness instruction may mitigate the negative effects of stress and trauma […], improving short- and long-term outcomes, and potentially reducing poor health outcomes in adulthood → open study
Findings support the viability of smartphone-based interventions to significantly enhance elements of wellbeing → Link to the articel