In the UK yesterday there was a mental health awareness day to help us understand and talk about mental health.
As someone who teaches meditation and mindfulness, this is a key part of the work I do. It’s why I set up Connected Kids as I have witnessed, many times, how teaching kids, teens and adults meditation helps improve their mental health.
But mental health isn’t the whole picture. We have emotional and physical health to consider and these are inextricably linked to our mental health. Continue reading →
We often have people who attend our connected kids courses without trying (or have little experience of) mindfulness and meditation. We don’t discriminate anyone in this situation who wants to learn how to teach kids meditation.
But teaching kids meditation and learning for your own well being, goes hand in hand.
We have a wonderful mindfulness online course that helps beginners (adults) learn meditation or can enhance your meditation skills if you have some experience.
In the meantime here is a wonderful introduction by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. and a strong advocate for mindfulness in our society. He talks about the non-judging attitude for mindfulness.
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 years. Today, 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
I initially had the idea back in 2003 that we should be teaching our kids meditation and mindfulness.
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!
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.
Where to buy these recommended books to help you teach meditation and mindfulness
Why is creativity important to teaching meditation?
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: