Children and adolescents encounter stress at home and at school—just as adults do in jobs and relationships. Many professionals believe we’re seeing an epidemic of adolescent depression, driven by stress, with the average onset of depression appearing as early as age twelve.
Stress not only interferes with learning but also places young people at increased vulnerability to drugs, alcohol and self-harm. Research shows that the Transcendental Meditation technique is a powerful stress buster.
Ten years of age or older
The Transcendental Meditation technique is easy for children to practice because it does not require focus or concentration, and children can practice it without having to sit perfectly still. Even children with symptoms of ADHD can practice this meditation successfully.
Because the TM program is validated by hundreds of scientific research studies, parents and educators can feel confident that the program is safe and reliable. It’s well established that the TM program can help children cope with stress and improve learning ability and behavior. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world have learned the TM technique, and the program has been successfully used in the classroom for 40 years.
Adolescent who learned TM, compared to control, showed decreased absenteeism, school rule infractions, and suspension days.
Meditation and the brain
Daily practice of the TM technique produces a healthy state of coherence and balance throughout the brain, with increased activation of the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for discrimination and higher moral reasoning. This type of more orderly brain functioning is not found while a child is studying, playing, watching TV or listening to music; nor does this balanced, holistic brain functioning come about through other types of relaxation or meditation exercises, such as mindfulness, watching the breath, visualizing, or guided imagination.
Everything good about your child’s brain depends on coherent and orderly brain functioning which is associated with sharper focus and comprehension, improved learning ability, heightened intelligence and creativity and better moral reasoning.
Practice of the TM technique for 10 minutes twice daily provides natural relief from stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Reducing stress and increasing inner happiness improves a child’s flexibility, social abilities and self-esteem.
The Transcendental Meditation technique is a valuable tool for a child as she matures, preparing her to meet the stresses and challenges of adolescence and adulthood.
Starting with about ten minutes morning and afternoon, children ten and older find the sit-down, eyes-closed practice of the TM technique effortless and enjoyable, something they can do on their own or with meditating friends or family members.
“Since I started TM, life has gotten a lot easier.CECELIA
I think more clearly and I don’t rush into things.
Plus, my grades have gone up.”
Word of Wisdom technique for kids 5-9
Children aged five to nine can learn the Word of Wisdom technique, which doesn’t involve sitting or having eyes closed. This technique is easy to learn and will fit seamlessly into a child’s day at home.
Word of Wisdom increases the natural development of Executive Function skills in early childhood. Executive Function skills enable children to decide on what activities they need to complete and which ones they should save for later. EF skills help regulate behavior and emotions, enable focus and keeping attention on the task at hand, and assist in drawing on prior knowledge and shifting attention effectively. Research shows that EF skills are a crucial component of early development and long-term academic success.
When practiced in a school setting, teachers generally observe a shift in children after they practice the technique, finding that the children are more settled, more focused and have more refined memory retention.