Meditation is an ancient practice where you learn to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. Adults often find this process difficult to master, but kids on the other hand are so different! It seems as though they have a greater ability to let go and be free from life’s pressures. Like any new skill, it needs plenty of practice but if our kids start learning now whilst their brains are more elastic, then it will serve them well both now and into adulthood. With so many proven benefits of meditation, let’s look at a few ways in which it could help kids with their literacy.
The focus on breathing during meditation is a great tool for children who tend to lash out (whether physically or verbally). This type of behaviour often leads to social turmoil for the child, which in turn can increase their stress levels. Meditation helps this roller coaster ride of emotions by improving their self-control mechanisms. This is turn helps calm their world and allows them to be still and focus on learning.
This enhanced focus allows them to be able to concentrate for longer periods of time, increasing their attentiveness to what is being taught and helping them become more open to suggestions and improvements. Learning how to read and write is often a laborious process for many kids, so being taught the skill of attentiveness is a huge bonus!
Empathy and respect for others
Meditation has been shown to increase one’s compassion for others. Through an increased awareness of your own thoughts and feelings, you can learn to understand how others feel as well. Learning to read and write is as much about storytelling as it is learning phonetics, sight words or word ‘rules’. Great storytellers take us on a journey through characters and it’s that compassion or understanding about how a character is feeling or reacting that encourages a lifelong love of reading and writing stories themselves.
Increased self-esteem leading to confidence
Have you ever experienced a situation where your child refuses to sit down and read with you? Whilst it could be they are just having a bad day, there is often a lack of confidence at play here. Imagine if your child had an increased sense of being able to accomplish tasks, even if it looks a little bit out of their abilities. Meditation increases your self-awareness and self-esteem. If your child is able to practice mediation, then the increase in confidence may just lead them to tackling tasks such as reading or writing that they previously had felt overwhelmed by.
Break from outside environmental factors
Meditation is often a chance for respite. It’s an opportunity to let go of everything that is happening around you. For children who may experience trauma, problems at home or even bullying this break is an opportunity to practice their attentiveness. It can also provide a calming influence when everything else seems to be in turmoil, allowing them to return to their learning with greater clarity and focus. Of course, in our digitally switched on world meditation gives our children a chance to have a break from technology and screens. It is the perfect wind-down activity of an evening to help induce peaceful sleep, so they are rested enough to learn the next day.
Tool for stress, depression, ADHD and hyperactivity
Whilst not touted as a cure for stress, depression, ADHD or hyperactivity, it can certainly help. All of the benefits already listed can help children with these conditions to find ways to be still and calm the mind so that they can focus on learning.
So, whilst meditation isn’t a ‘cure’ for poor literacy levels, it can certainly provide many benefits for children. It gives them the tools to be able to become more focused to enable them to be more open to learning reading and writing skills.
For more information on meditation for kids, check out the resources from our lovely friends at Change Your Mind Movement. If you’re concerned with your child’s literacy levels, book in a free trial with Leap into Literacy at any one of our many workshops.
Leap into Literacy provides small tutoring classes with a focus on reading comprehension and writing. Using techniques that allow students to become creative in the learning process, sessions are fun and achieve maximum results!
Classes are held at our centres in Drummoyne, Balmain, and North Willoughby, as well as other locations around Sydney, and are available for preschoolers and school age children in Years K-6.
If you are interested in finding out more about how Leap into Literacy can help your child, SIGN UP NOW FOR YOUR FREE TRAIL CLASS AND ASSESSMENT!