Mindfulness can be a powerful tool, especially for children. It allows them to deal with adversity more skillfully and enhances their understanding of the world around them.
In a series on mindfulness for children, The New York Times cited a study that found fourth and fifth graders who took a four-month meditation program showed improvements in executive functions like cognitive control, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and better math scores.
Another study published by the journal “Mindful,” found similar improvements in math in fifth graders with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and a study of elementary school children in Korea showed that eight weeks of meditation lowered aggression, social anxiety and stress levels.
So why is mindfulness so effective for children? According to The New York Times series, it can best be explained by the way the brain develops.
“While our brains are constantly developing throughout our lives, connections in the prefrontal circuits are created at their fastest rate during childhood. Mindfulness—which promotes skills that are controlled in the prefrontal cortex, like focus and cognitive control—can therefore have a particular impact on the development of skills including self-regulation, judgment and patience during childhood.”