My granddaughter, who is eight years old, came home from school and said the teacher had taught the class to meditate. I wonder what benefit children could receive from this practice? Are there any risks?
Meditation programs – often called ‘mindfulness meditation” – are becoming more frequently used to help children develop a sense of calm and clarity, cope better with stress, and live their lives more fully. There are research studies demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness training on children’s mental health.
The aim is to teach children to tune in and be aware of what they are experiencing in the present moment, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future.
Mindfulness activities range from simple mindful eating or walking to more formal meditation exercises. The exercises are available on smartphone applications. The panel noted that some caution is recommended with children who have experienced trauma such as child abuse, by providing choice about participation, monitoring their responses and offering extra support if required.