With Labor Day around the corner, school-aged children from all around the country are either back in school or quickly preparing for a return to the classroom. You can almost feel the sense of excitement and fear these children face as they venture into the unknown. The good news is, now more than ever, children receive the support, encouragement and mentoring needed to help them to make these important life transitions. Not the least of which is a holistic approach to a child’s well being that if cultivated properly by a child’s parents can make all the difference in that child’s overall mental and physical health.
Karen Fabian, in this recent Beacon Hill Patch post, takes a look at two practices, meditation and yoga, and the benefits each offer when it comes to helping children deal with the back-to-school transition. The purpose of the post it to provide support to parents needing suggestions on how to better empower their children. According to Fabian, a combination of yoga and meditation teaches them discipline and good habits as well as respect for oneself and others. And for all those parents out there who say children can’t meditate? Fabian addresses that excuse as well….
Think your kids are too young to meditate? Think again. Call it “meditation,” call it “visualization,” call it “sitting still.” It’s just a way of describing being still, breathing and acknowledging how you feel. Of course, this is harder for children the younger they are, but there’s a way you can encourage even children as young as 3 and 4 to be still. At the end of class, I ask even young children to lie flat and think of their favorite color and without speaking it, see if they can “see” it in their minds’ eye. When we’re done, I ask them to come up to seated and tell me what they saw. As children get older you can do some breathing exercises with them and get their feedback when they’re done as to how it felt in their body. In my work with student athletes, I ask them to visualize performing well as a way to “see” their success on the water, track or field. Meditation is a great way to build a habit of stillness and sensation for children and in a world where they are over-stimulated much of their day, this can be a tremendous relief. These times of stillness can help kids begin to process any feelings of anxiety they may feel around school, peer pressure or school performance.
Read more from Fabian on using meditation and yoga to help support your child’s back-to-school transition here.