Think about it. How often would you tell your children not to study and just watch TV instead? Probably not too many times, right? Why, because you obviously want the best for them. And who other than you would know the best for your child?
You always want to give them the best of everything, be it clothes, education or food. You get them the best gifts on their birthdays and do whatever it takes to keep them happy, healthy and be successful in life.
And now it’s time to give them the best gift of their life – something which they will cherish lifelong and be grateful, for it will change their life for the better. A simple yet very effective technique called meditation - one of the most valuable skills we can teach our children.
Did you know that regular practice of meditation has several beneficial effects on our children’s emotional, mental and intellectual development? Yes, it helps children tune into themselves, sleep better and develop better social interactions. Now that’s what you as a parent would always dream and wish for your child, right?
So why wait? Let’s look at the top five reasons why your children should meditate and help them introduce this simple practice in their daily life as soon as possible!
#1 To harness the monkey mind
The nature of the mind, when stressed, is to jump from thought to thought like a monkey. If there is tension, then the mind cannot be calm.
Have you noticed that your children are drawn to gadgets and technology like we never had in our youth? They are challenged to think and respond more quickly than ever before. They have the ability to take information in megabytes, play games of speed and imagination, surf and tweet, and respond to constant online communication!
In addition to these abilities, you would probably also want your child to have the capacity to turn their attention completely to one thing and be able to stick with their studies. You would want them to be capable of solving complex problems and to see projects through to the completion.
What can we do to teach them this focus?
The answer is meditation. Your child’s creativity will flow best when their mind is freed from the demands of tension and stress. Meditation gives them a healthy rest from the ‘monkey mind’ so they can function more effectively and with clarity.
#2 To prepare for the challenges of puberty
If you have an adolescent child, you probably would have seen that they have strong emotions and are easily influenced by the society around them.
Meditation gives teenagers the access to a great feeling of inner stability and security. It allows them an insight into the inner wisdom to help them stay centered and strong through the hormonal changes in the body.
#3 To de-stress for academic success
Have you noticed that when you are fully absorbed in doing something, such as playing with a baby or watching a beautiful sunset, the mind is not worried, angry or anxious? When the mind is calm, the body is relaxed and in this way, the body follows the mind. If the mind is free of tension, it would function at its peak for exam performance and the body would be healthy. Isn’t that what you want for your child?
How many children do you see frowning and stressing over studies? Their shoulders get hunched and tight, eyesight getting strained and digestive and other health problems beginning to develop. Ideally, we all hope that our children will have the ability to progress in life, solving complex problems and thinking creatively.
Meditation gives our children the freedom from negative effects of stress and allows the mind to be fresh and inspired. It gives them an expansive and relaxed way of thinking which can help bring creativity and clarity.
#4 To support healthy emotional development
Is your child experiencing strong emotions such as frustration and fear? It is common through the developmental stages for children to have tantrums and tears. We want them to easily navigate these phases without too much distress.
Children often feel frustrated or irritable when they don’t get their own way and things get difficult as they haven’t yet learnt the virtue of patience. A toddler would scream and cry for a toy while a school child would resist if they are told to do something they don’t like. Technology has increased the expectation of instant solutions which can increase impatience in children.
Overcoming fear is another challenge for children as they are growing up in this fast-paced world. Fears, such as not being accepted and not having friends as well as the primal fears of death and losing loved ones, can trouble children. Emotional stability is essential for healthy growth. These great leaders of the future will need to have courage and emotional strength.
Meditation allows children to return to their natural rhythm and helps them cope with the emotions of frustration and fear. It helps to balance the whole system by supporting emotional development and gives rest to the mind so that they are not overwhelmed by their strong feelings.
#5 To reach their full potential
Through meditation, your children can discover that there is so much more potential in their life, that the stresses in their life are petty, short-term problems and that they can be successful beyond their dreams.
You child of today will make the leader of the future and they will need to be centered, strong and good lateral thinkers. The best we can do to support them is encourage them to practice meditation and access the untapped potential within.
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
By Janette Scott