Meditation is not just for adults. Daily meditation has many proven benefits and can be used as a coping mechanism. Many skills that are taught to children are things that they learn when they need to, but coping mechanisms should be taught before they are needed. It is much harder to teach a child conscious breathing and meditation while they are struggling. Teaching your kids about meditation from an early age can help them develop coping skills that will prove useful throughout the rest of their lives. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is now encouraging parents to share meditation with their children, and even teachers too, in hopes to help incorporate mindfulness into kids’ daily routines.
In addition to being a useful coping mechanism meditation has a variety of other benefits too. Incorporating meditation into your child’s daily routine can help improve their ability to focus and learn in school, help develop self regulation skills, can vastly improve sleeping habits, and can reduce stress and anxiety patterns. Similarly, working with kids to help introduce them to breathing awareness can help lower both blood pressure and heart rates. Meditation can, also, be used as a tool to help treat symptoms of PTSD. A trial of 300 low income minority urban middle schoolers showed that using school based mindfulness instruction led to improved psychological functioning and lower levels of PTSD symptoms.