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The Easiest Way to Meditate!

Meditation for Kids

What if we told you that much of what most parents want for their kids, emotionally, socially and personally, is accessible thru meditation?

You probably wouldn’t believe it… but the impact of meditation on kids can be life-changing. We believe so much in the value of teaching the skill of meditation to kids early on, that we’re committed to making this program free for children.

We all want our kids to be happy, healthy, and compassionate. We want them to do well in school, have lots of friends and the inner confidence to be true to themselves.

Benefits of Meditation for Kids and Teens

There are thousands of studies showing the positive impact of meditation and mindfulness on our health and well-being. And these great benefits aren’t just for adults!

Here are some of the positive traits and skills meditation can help instill in children. These traits and skills will give them a strong and centered foundation that will serve them well as they develop and grow.

Self Regulation

Kids learn to become more aware of their own bodies and their reaction to stress so that they can better take control of their emotional and physical states. This ability to calm themselves when they experience stress is an invaluable tool, and leads them to have a more positive outlook on life and to be more confident. California elementary school students showed much improved self-control as a result of a meditation program implemented in their school.1 Also, at Burton High School in San Francisco, students who participated in a meditation program reported significantly less stress and depression than other students.2

Attention and Concentration

Children learn how to focus their attention and concentration. This helps them read, study and learn more efficiently. In a California middle school that used a daily meditation program, students were able to increase their grade point averages.1 In low-income areas of San Francisco, schools with meditation programs boasted twice as many students with satisfactory English scores on the California Achievement Test than schools that didn’t implement meditation, and the difference in math scores was even bigger.2 When an elementary school in the Midwest did eight weeks of meditation with their third-graders, teachers reported significantly less hyperactive behavior, ADHD symptoms, and inattentiveness in their students.3

Social Skills and Self-esteem

Meditation helps kids learn how to pay attention to their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In turn, they are able to be more empathetic and more compassionate toward others. They even become better listeners. An Oakland-based meditation program for schools found significant improvements in children’s ability to empathize with and show respect for others, and the results lasted even seven weeks later!1 Students in various San Francisco high schools reported significant boosts in self-esteem from their meditation practice.2

Creativity

Children are naturally very creative, but often they don’t fully tune in to their creative wellspring. Meditation leads to an increased ability for children to tap into their natural creativity. Psychologists at Leiden University found that, after doing short meditation exercises, participants performed better on tasks that required them to generate new creative ideas.4 In another study, Cornell University students showed significantly increased pictorial and verbal creativity following a few months of meditation practice.5 At the University of Wisconsin, neuroscientists found that 200 local elementary school students had learned to focus better as a result of daily meditation exercises.6

Calm

Elementary-aged children use entertainment technology – video games, texting, TV, etc. – on for 7.5 hours a day on average! This technology encourages fast paced and frenetic mind activity and a culture of multi-tasking. Children are especially susceptible to the side effects of too much technology, such as shorter attention span, less patience, anxiety and nervousness. It’s very important to counterbalance all this exposure to technology with some quiet time, and meditation is the perfect complement. Students in a rural U.S. high school showed lower stress levels and a better school climate after an eight-week meditation program.7 In a British study spanning fifteen schools, where 96% of students were noted as having low relaxation levels or high hyperactivity, 85% of participants reported feeling more calm and relaxed.8

Self-Awareness

As they grow, kids learn who they are and what makes them happy. Meditation teaches them self-awareness. By looking inside themselves, they find out what they’re passionate about and what they want to do in life. They understand their own reactions better and can learn to self-regulate when they are triggered. They develop a certain independence and can follow their own intuition instead of just following the crowd. Elementary school students in California showed significant improvements in self-awareness after following a meditation curriculum for just five weeks.1

Check out our free meditation for kids program.

Our Kids Meditation Program for Home and School

Breethe includes an assortment of guided meditations and visualizations created specifically for kids of all ages. These meditations can be used at home, or at school. They are all free, and they will stay that way.

At School

Content from Breethe is being used in many K-11 schools. Depending on the school, kids meditate from once a day to three times a week, sometimes in the morning, sometimes after lunch. The anecdotal results have been great. In fact, one child was quoted telling his irate mother “Mom, you need to sit down and meditate to calm down”.

Different Themes to Choose From

We have created guided meditations for kids that cover many different topics including:

– Having Gratitude

– Calming Our Bodies & Minds

– Being aware of our Thoughts

– Being aware of our Emotions

– Being aware of our Breathing

– And more…

Meditation in Your Class

If you’re a teacher, we encourage you to bring Breethe into your classroom. We think you’ll be amazed at the kids’ capacity to tune in and that you’ll appreciate the calm it will bring to your class. Only a few minutes a day can mean great benefits. The kids’ program is divided into three age categories, kids 6-9, tweens 10-13, and teens 14-17. The program is entirely free. There’s no need for a public or class use license. Just go ahead and use it.And by the way, there’s no need for students to sit cross-legged. Sitting in a chair at their desk works just fine!

Kids’ Meditation at Home

If you have kids age 6 or older, we encourage you to try the meditations and visualizations with them at home. This is a wonderful and calming activity that you can do together with your child anytime, especially just before bed. Meditation has been shown to be beneficial to kids in many areas, such as improved attention and concentration, better social skills and creativity, more self-regulation and self-awareness, and a greater sense of calm. Plus, it’s a great way to counteract all the technology all around them these days. As always, the kids content is completely free!

Kid-Friendly and Teen Approved

Kids are known for their blazing curiosity (and also their short attention spans). So, we’ve made our kids’ meditations both engaging, and short enough lengths for their age category to keep them from getting bored.We’ve also adapted the language used for three different age groups, kids (6-9), Tweens (10-13), and Teens (14-17), so make sure they feel “talked to” at their own level.

Just for Teachers

And for all you teachers and educators out there!! Send us an email using your school email address(ie. ending in “.edu”), and we’ll be happy to give you a free Premium membership to the “grown ups” program!


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References
  1. Black, D. S., and R. Fernando. “Meditation Transforms Roughest San Francisco Schools.” Journal of Child and Family Studies. Springer Link, 19 June 2013. Read Here
  2. Kirp, David L. “Meditation Transforms Roughest San Francisco Schools.” SFGate. Hearst Communications, Inc., 12 Jan. 2014. Read Here
  3. Sara W. Lazar, Catherine E. Kerr, Rachel H. Wasserman, Jeremy R. Gray, Douglas N. Greve, Michael T. Treadway, Metta McGarvey Brian T. Quinn, Jeffery A. Dusek, Herbert Benson, Scott L. Rauch, Christopher I. Moore, and Bruce Fishl. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. Neuroreport. Nov 28; 16(17): 1893–1897. Read Here
  4. Colzato, Lorenza S., Szapora Ayca, Hommel Bernhard. “Meditate to Create: The Impact of Focused-Attention and Open-Monitoring Training on Convergent and Divergent Thinking.” Frontiers in Psychology. 18 April 2012: n. 3 page. Read Here
  5. Travis, Frederick. “The Transcendental Meditation Technique and Creativity: A Longitudinal Study of Cornell University Undergraduates.” The Journal of Creative Behavior 13.3 (1979): 169-80. Wiley Online Library. Creative Education Foundation, 22 Dec. 2011. Read Here
  6. HOEKSTRA, G. (2012, February 16). Neuroscientist touts benefits of meditation for kids. The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from Read Here
  7. Wisner, Betsy L. “An Exploratory Study of Mindfulness Meditation for Alternative School Students: Perceived Benefits for Improving School Climate and Student Functioning.” Mindfulness 05 May 2013: n. pag. Springer Link. Read Here
  8. “Evidence: Basic studies of the effects… ” Relax Kids Ltd, Web. Read Here