Can meditation help kids with depression?

 

This week, I read a disturbing news report about the increasing use of medication for children (aged 12 or younger) who are being prescribed anti-depressants.

It found that the number of youngsters aged 12 or younger on anti-depressants has risen by 27% over the last three years.” BBC News July 2018 

Then on social media someone shared an article with a similar message in the USA.

Rates of depression and anxiety among young people in America have been increasing steadily for the past 50 to 70 yearsToday, by at least some estimates, five to eight times as many high school and college students meet the criteria for diagnosis of major depression and/or anxiety disorder as was true half a century or more ago.” Dr. Peter Gray, a research professor at Boston College

So there are 3 things that concern me most:

  • children are being diagnosed with depression
  • increasingly medication is being used so for such young (and developing children).
  • that there is a waiting list for access to psychological help for kids with mental health issues

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Helping kids manage their behaviour with mindful meditation

 

I know this is an issue that many adults struggle with – both in the classroom and at home.

So my next online talk will be about this – giving you tips and mindful ideas that help you and your kids to self-regulate their behaviour… more peacefully.

If you wish to join the online talk (live and recorded) – please register here.

Please note places are limited so pre-booking is required.

 

Meditation and mindfulness for autism and ADHD

I initially had the idea back in 2003 that we should be teaching our kids meditation and mindfulness.teaching kids meditation

Back then… there was very little in the way of resources that people could find to help them teach kids and teens mindful meditation practices.

How the landscape has changed (thank goodness!)

Today we see meditation and mindfulness being incorporated into many areas of a child’s life.  These essential life skills will help them process increasing amounts of stress that we place on their small shoulders (diet, technology, lifestyle).  I’m glad that people are waking up to the idea of teaching their kids meditation – in my view it is as important as teaching them to brush their teeth!

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Books we love – teaching kids and teens mindful meditation

Here’s a quick book review – books we love

These books have been read by us and are reviewed by the founder of Connected Kids and author, Lorraine E Murray with an insight into why they will help you enhance your meditation and teaching practice.

Enjoy.

Where to buy these recommended books to help you teach meditation and mindfulness

 

The Whole Brain Child – Dr Dan Siegel – more info >>>

The Body Keeps Score – Bessel Van Der Kolk MD – more info >>>

Into the Magic Shop – Dr James R Doty – more info >>>

The Untethered Soul  – Michael Singer – more info >>>

Wonder – R J Palacio – more info >>>

Do you want to train to teach kids or teens meditation?

If you would like to learn how to create your very own meditations for kids/teens try our Connected Kids level 1 course – online or in-class) (This is the gateway to our professional level)

Or find ideas and tips in our book Calm Kids (beginners) or Connected Kids (working with special needs/anxiety).

If you want some creative inspiration you can listen to one of our Meditation CDs for children/teens >>>

 

How to be more creative teaching meditation

Why is creativity important to teaching meditation?girl playing mindfully

Since 2003, we’ve been teaching adults how to help kids and teens practise meditation.

What’s interesting is the way that we adults (initially) approach the idea of teaching kids meditation.

  • Some of us look for a ‘mindfulness wand’ that we can use (metaphorically speaking) to calm our children.
  • Some of us want to analyse and dissect meditation; how it works, the benefits, why bother teaching it.
  • Some of us  think that it’s good for kids to learn it because we practise and thus try to teach our kids meditation in the same style/manner of our meditation practice.

The fact that you are even interested in teaching a young person these life skills (in our opinion) is amazing!  The intention to offer this to young people is a gift and at Connected Kids, it’s our passion to leave this legacy for future generations.

But often we may attempt to teach children and find that either:

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Toolkit for teaching mindful activities – kids on the autistic spectrum

Creating a space to teach mindfulness to kids with autism 

We were asked a question about the types of tools people could use if they wanted to teach their kids (who are on the autistic spectrum) how to feel calmer and less stressed using mindful activities.  

” I will be moving into a purpose built unit for children with autism shortly and I have to kit out the sensory room. I’m wondering if you can suggest anything in particular that would be beneficial.”

Expert advice

We write about this subject all the time…particularly in the 2nd book – “Connected Kids‘.

However we have taught thousands of people how to teach kids meditation, and  thought that many of our Connected Kids Tutors would have great, practical advice.  

We were right!

Here are some wonderful ideas that may help your kids on the spectrum bring their energy back into balance with meditation and mindfulness.

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Meditation idea for toddlers

 

A simple meditation idea to teach 5-year old kids (inspired by my Goddaughter – Libby!)

 

How to teach kids of all ages how to meditate

If you would like to learn how to create your very own meditations for kids/teens try our Connected Kids level 1 course – online or in-class) (This is the gateway to our professional level)

Or find ideas and tips in our book Calm Kids (beginners) or Connected Kids (working with special needs/anxiety).

Meditation CDs for children/teens >>>

Changing the world with mindfulness

The heart speaks mindfully

I was really moved by this video.

I think it speaks volumes about how we can raise awareness and how to help children be part of the conversation about the future.

With all my heart I believe that if we teach children meditation, they find that mindful voice just as Meghan Markle has done in this powerful video.

When a young person finds that voice within, it teaches us adults how to hear them from our heart, mindfully, as they shine their light on what needs to change in this world.
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