"Quiet Time" has found a deeper meaning
Most of us have probably seen the viral article which explains how some schools are implementing meditation practices instead of detention for children who misbehave. What do you think?
Moments of mindfulness or guided meditation might be a crucial step in helping children be present with themselves and understanding their emotions. It may also help children decrease stress levels, reduce anxiety, and increase focus.
But how do we get children to sit still, let alone focus on their breaths? The trick is to let them tell them to watch you and mimic your movements, stretch, breathe, and repeat. Children are naturals when it comes to mimicking our movements, you'll be surprised to see them sit down and simply follow suit.
Larger scale research studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of mindfulness in schools, however, with the few studies we do have we know mindfulness and meditation is not harmful. Implementing meditation within your home, after school, or on weekends with your child makes for a great bonding experience along with a host of proven mental health benefits. Mindfulness is thought to have wide-ranging positive effects, from lessening depressive symptoms to reducing anxiety and helping to deal with chronic pain and trauma. There are some studies that find mindfulness reduces the levels of the stresshormone cortisol.
Headspace is a great app and website that has helpful guided meditation steps and tools for families who are beginners at meditation to use. There are actually an abundance of apps and programs (some free) on the web that are made for children to practice meditation and mindfulness. But, what better way for your little one to notice the importance of meditation than seeing mom/dad/brother/sister doing it too. Mindfulness and meditation across the board fosters self-esteem and self-love for the entire family, so don't forget to include the kiddos in your meditation practices from time to time. Children feed off of their loved ones' energies so ensure your energy is pure.
Children learn well with games and fun exercises so you can start by playing a game of who can be the quietest, or breathing exercises that incorporate following a rhythm or soothing music.
You can also show children how beautiful and interesting silence can be — how quiet time can give perspective and help us reflect on what we’re truly thinking or feeling. Tap into their imagination, be silent with them, agree to their mental adventures to Jupiter. Meet them where they are, in their quiet spaces.
Since children typically follow daily routines, schedule quiet time so they can anticipate incorporating meditation each day. You can start with just 5 minutes per day and gradually increase from there.
In time, and with a little dedicated practice, kids will start to look forward to this calming space of quiet, imagination and relaxation.
Here's a video I found to be soothing and my 3 year old niece loves ❤️
If you are a research junkie like me and would like more information about mindfulness research and youth check out the links I've posted below ☺️
Till next time,
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness for Children
Contemplative Education: A Systematic, Evidence-Based Review of the effect of Meditation Interventions in Schools
Mindfulness vs. Meditation for Adults
Hello world! I am Chérie Jade, I am passionate about promoting a holistic lifestyle and encouraging preventative practices for day to day healthy living.