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With consistent practice of meditation techniques, you will likely notice an increased independence in your child. Meditation in children, allows them time to relax and reflect. They will become better problem solvers, therefore rely less on others to find solutions. Your child will likely also experience increased self-worth which can boost their confidence so they can feel more comfortable doing things on their own. (htt5)
The practice of meditation is connected to the ability to focus and relax. Many children struggle with short attention spans and hyperactivity; modernly diagnosed as ADHD. Regular meditation can help them deal with this more effectively. While concentrating on a thought, image, object or sound, the body is in a state of relaxation. This can be carried over into other tasks and activities. Children are then better equipped to calm their body and focus their attention, which can be a benefit both at home and in the classroom. (Klatt, 2013)
Self-acceptance begins with understanding the self. Meditation can help a child to be in touch with their thoughts and feelings. When children learn to know themselves internally, they rely less on external validation. They will begin to embrace their individuality and feel more positively about being themselves. Self-acceptance is important to growth and can be a challenge for a young person. If they are able to achieve this they will be more confident socially, and less likely to fall victim to peer pressure. (Metz, n.d.)
Many parents of children, who have participated in the ongoing practice of meditation, have reported improved academic performance. Their child's memory and reading comprehension improved. Children are more able to learn and remember what they have been taught when practicing meditation regularly. Studies have shown children to be less distracted while listening or reading. This allows a more fluid understanding of information. Meditation can also increase neurological connections in the brain, which will improve a child's ability to recall the information they have absorbed. (htt2)
Meditation can increase creativity levels. There are specific types of meditation that focus on increased awareness, like mindfulness meditation and open monitoring meditation, and are specifically related to developing how a person thinks. It has been shown that these types of meditations can increase divergent and convergent thinking. This means that the brain is more easily able to process multiple ideas, and can more quickly recognize connections between things. (University, 2014)
Meditation practices can cross over and can naturally be integrated into daily behaviors. For example, when a child is learning to clear their mind or focus on their breathing through meditation, those skills can be beneficial in other situations. They can learn to apply the same calming techniques in everyday walking life. When a child is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, they will know how to respond to that in a healthy way, thus reducing their stress levels. (Wisner, 2013)
Meditation can also help your child to be happier. When their mental and physical selves are in sync, they have a greater sense of wellbeing. Additionally, when children can recognize their thoughts and feelings, they are better equipped to process the experiences in their lives. Accepting those experiences, and learning from them, is an important life skill. Developing good coping mechanisms can increase optimism and promote a positive outlook. (Kuyken, 2013)
Mindfulness meditation, in particular, teaches acceptance and awareness of thoughts and feelings. When children learn to recognize these things in themselves, it also leads to increased empathy for others. By learning to understand their own emotions, they will be more aware of the feelings of others. Your child will be more likely to engage in positive behaviors if he or she can appreciate how their behavior affects other individuals. As a result, they are more likely to become more kind and compassionate with regular reinforcement of these practices.(Black, 2013)
The state of the mind and body during meditation resembles that of sleep as the heart rate and breathing slows as the body relaxes. The mind however, remains aware and conscious which is similar to the dreaming state. Learning to relax through meditation can help your child to fall asleep. Studies have also shown increased levels of melatonin, the chemical in the brain that regulates sleep cycles, in individuals who regularly meditate. Additionally, it was discovered that those who meditate also experience more sleep cycles during the night, suggesting a higher quality of sleep. In conclusion, meditation can help children fall asleep faster, and have a more restful night's sleep. (Ravindra P. Nagendra, 2012)
Meditation can improve a child’s self-esteem by increasing their level of self-acceptance and their sense of well-being. In a busy world, meditation allows them to slow down and become more aware of themselves in relation to the world around them. It can teach them to recognize their own individuality and feel good about who they are. When children feel good about themselves, it helps to relieve the social anxiety that often causes low self-esteem. (Lawlor, 2010)
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