Back to School Anxiety: How Meditation Can Help
You see them in every store you enter: banners with words in big, bold letters: Back to School.
For some kids the endless rows of crayons, pencils, paper and backpacks signals a new year, fun with friends, and amazing adventures to be had. For many kids…most likely the majority…the start of a new year is filled with anxiety. It’s all the typical stressors of going back to school: new teachers, kids, routines and things to learn. But there’s more to the stress than just newness. It’s also the anxiety of living, day to day, that is affecting kids, and also adults.
Consider this: Our post-pandemic world is filled with increasing violence and more uncertainly than we, as adults have faced before. In fact, according the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people died in the US from suicide than any other year on record.
According to a survey conducted last fall conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation “Nine out of 10 adults in the US think the country is experiencing a mental health crisis.”
There is a trickle-down effect: when adult’s mental health suffers, so does children’s. If adults cannot cope with anxiety, or are coping poorly, they are less likely to be offering the emotional support that anxious littles ones desperately need.
Mental health care is often not accessible, or affordable, for many. But there is good news: meditation, while not a mental health treatment per say, is a tool that many medical and mental health professionals use with their patients. And meditation is something that anyone can do anywhere, to bring a sense of calm to the chaos of daily living.
Meditation and Mental Health
Meditation is becoming such a big part of mental health that many major hospitals, around the world, are implementing it as part of their treatment plans. Major health systems, like The Mayo Clinic, The Cleveland Clinic, and Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals in London support meditation and mindfulness practices for their patients.
Many child therapists, occupational therapists and social workers routinely teach their young clients how to use meditation and mindfulness for anxiety and other life challenges.
If your child is struggling with back to school anxiety and you’re looking for ways to help them with anxiety not only for this season, but for the rest of their life, consider introducing them to meditation.
Meditation for Back to School Anxiety
Meditation can be a calming addition to their back to school routine, and is a skill that will benefit them for their entire life. Because there are so many meditation practices to choose from, you are sure to find a style of meditation that works for your child. From walking meditations, guided story meditations, mantra meditations, body scans and progressive muscle relaxation, to name just a few, there is a type of meditation that every child will love and look forward to doing.
Starting a meditation practice can seem overwhelming. You probably have a lot of questions:
How do I teach my child how to meditate?
What kind of meditation should my child practice?
How long should my child meditate?
What if my child isn’t doing it right?
Happily there is no one right answer to any of these questions. While a meditation practice is beautifully different for every practitioner, it can still be hard to know where to begin.
Introducing meditation to kids
Like most parents, you’re busy. Back to school means shopping for supplies, new shoes, and filling out endless forms. Teaching your child meditation sounds nice, and you believe it’s probably also very helpful, but who needs another chore on the never-ending list of back to school tasks?
If you’d like a guide along the way, or better yet, a magical Dragon to teach your child how to meditate in a storybook world, let me introduce you to Wee Meditate. Created by a special education teacher and a meditation teacher, Wee Meditate makes it simple and easy to bring the calm of meditation to your child and to your family.
Wee Meditate is a digital meditation platform that teaches meditation to all children. With inclusive and representative characters, Wee Meditate makes meditation accessible, and fun, for all children through their guided story meditations, bedtime stories, mini meditations, music and more.
Just click “Play” and Wee Meditate takes it from there, providing your child with hours of screen-free content that can be listened to anytime, anywhere. (For children who are deaf, there are signed and captioned videos of content so they don’t miss a thing.)
Wee Meditate’s Back to School Sale is on now. For a limited time you can grab a membership for your little one and save 15% with the code B2SWD15.