With summer vacation fast approaching...
…I’m looking for ways to stay calm and energized for Sage Living and Avery and Ford. Lately, meditation keeps popping up in our lives. Most days I try to meditate using the Headspace app. Even a few minutes of meditation makes me feel more clearheaded for the rest of the day.
The teacher at Ford’s Taekwondo class starts each session with a one minute seated meditation. The children sit with their eyes closed, hands in lap. It is the cutest thing ever and slightly amazing to me that a room full of 4-5 year olds embrace meditation every week.
Avery goes full speed all day, every day and loves nothing more than the mini-massage and deep breathing practice that we’ve started as part of her bedtime routine. I think we’re on to something good and I’m eager to learn more.
“There is an emerging body of research that indicates that mindfulness can help our children improve their abilities to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset, and to make better decisions. In short, it helps with emotional regulation and cognitive focus. Do I even need to ask if you want that for your kids? 🙂”
Why kids should meditate:
The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) published research that showed an estimated two million more children in the U.S. were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between 2003 and 2012 and one million more children were taking medication for it. What's more concerning is—most of the diagnoses started before the age of six.
A study done at the National Therapies Research Unit at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney Australia, showed significant improvements in ADHD symptoms with children who were taught to meditate. The children reported improved attention spans and less hyperactivity. See more here.
Why adults, especially parents, should meditate (I loved this!):
“Mindfulness allows us to be present in our parenting, choosing the skillful response instead of succumbing to our visceral reactions.”
Steps to being mindful:
1. Make it simple – “Mindfulness is a big word for young kids to understand. Put simply, mindfulness is awareness. It is noticing our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and anything that is around us and happening right now.”
2. Establish your own practice and manage expectations – “Are you expecting mindfulness to eliminate tantrums? to make your active child calm? to make your house quiet? If so, you are likely to be disappointed.”
3. Make it a bedtime ritual
5. What we eat needs to be mindful
6. Last but not least, don’t force it!
Give these steps a try and see how you feel!
Lastly, how cute are these meditation cushions for kids?