Here’s Why Parents and Teachers Are Pushing Kids to Meditate

What does learning mindfulness at a young age look like?

Courtesy of George Rudy / Getty Images
Courtesy of George Rudy / Getty Images

A new ClassDojo study of 1,000 U.S families and 900 U.S teachers, analyzed data from a massive mindfulness survey conducted back in March of this year. ClassDojo is a communication platform for teachers, students, and parents. The content intimated in its latest report is derived from over 180 countries, and 95% of pre-K-8 schools in the U.S.

Participants were surveyed on their views regarding courses implemented in schools that might help young students better combat stress and anxiety, particularly employing mindfulness exercises as opposed to traditional psychiatric treatment.

How common are mental health issues among young children?

According to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention, 7.1% of children (just about 4 million) between the ages of 3-17 have been diagnosed with anxiety and nearly two million of this same demographic has been diagnosed with depression. These disorders usually appear in unison, in fact, 78% of children suffering from depression have anxiety as well. The CDC additionally reports a rise in these disorders in the youth:

  • “Ever having been diagnosed with either anxiety or depression” among children aged 6–17 years increased from 5.4% in 2003 to 8% in 2007 and to 8.4% in 2011–2012.
  • “Ever having been diagnosed with anxiety” increased from 5.5% in 2007 to 6.4% in 2011–2012.
  • “Ever having been diagnosed with depression” did not change between 2007 (4.7%) and 2011-2012 (4.9%.)”

The findings in the March edition of the ClassDojo’s report echo the trend indexed just above. Ninety-eight percent of teachers in the newest detail said that at least some of their students have expressed anxiety about school life in particular.

Preemptive measures

Many psychologists recommend grounding techniques to diminish the on-coming effects of anxiety.  The act of focusing awareness and fully acknowledging feelings and emotions in the present is referred to as mindfulness.   When faced with looming anxiety, inquire after its agency. Try to locate your pulse without touching it, breathe in and out, and examine every passing emotion.

Sixty-seven percent of parents and 64% of teachers said that learning how to mitigate feelings of stress and anxiety is every bit as important as school work Thirty-two percent of parents and 26% of teachers believed it was actually more important.

The parents that took it upon themselves to practice mindfulness exercises in their own home reported a wide range of benefits. Sixty-four percent of parents found that their children were better at handling and discerning their emotions. Forty-three percent said that their child was calmer and less anxious. Thirty-nine percent saw increased focus, 35% noticed that their child was happier overall, and 32% found that their child was more empathetic.

Ninety-seven percent of teachers agreed that introducing mindfulness at an early age, is important to overall growth and development, even if not every individualist member of that percent felt that it was more important than school work.

An additional 92% of teachers would be interesting in providing a mindfulness course at their district, even though only 10% of schools actually offer one. Seventy-nine percent of parents make a point to practice mindfulness with their child at home, 52% of which spend up to 15 minutes a night doing so.

Originally published on Ladders.

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