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meditation as a life skill for our youth

Meditation as a life skill for our youth

I recently introduced my 13 year old daughter to Petrea King’s meditation CD.  Emma has a short term memory problem which has made learning very challenging for her. She’s a talented artist and singer but struggles with learning in a school environment. Over the years we have spent thousands of dollars on learning support – speech therapy, occupational therapy, kinesiology and more recently with counseling sessions with a child psychologist to help with her self-esteem. Both the primary and secondary schools she has attended have provided excellent learning support and have supported me, as her fiercely loyal advocate, with encouragement and advice along the way.

The greatest improvement and benefit however has come from her meditation sessions which she now initiates herself. She will head off to her bedroom after school, close the door and meditate to Petrea’s CD for 30 minutes. When she finishes her ability to articulate is so greatly enhanced that I am often left speechless. She is able to “slay” her brother at the dinner table with confident, insightful and humorous conversation that has previously evaded her. Meditation obviously clears her neural pathways to allow her memory to function normally. She is generally less anxious and has become more confident at school and in social situations since starting to meditate. She quickly recognized the considerable benefits gained from meditation and now considers it part of her life. She chooses when she wants to meditate which is generally three or four times per week. I can see it will eventually become a daily ritual for her which I know will support her well through the teenage challenges ahead.

No-one had ever suggested meditation as a support tool and it makes me wonder how this could benefit the hundreds of thousands of families out there dealing with learning difficulties and trying to navigate their way through a winding road, lurching from one solution to the next, often being confronted with issues of whether to medicate or not and being out of pocket thousands of dollars along the way.

So it has got me thinking about the broader benefits of meditation as a life skill for our youth. With so many issues impacting on our young people today, an increase in learning difficulties, a huge increase in youth mental health issues, eating disorders, body image issues, cyber bullying and the anxiety and stress they deal with preparing for their HSC. The fear of failure if they don’t get that high Atar score. If meditation was taught to our children as part of their PDHPE curriculum what impact would we see? A start to each school day that involves 30 minutes of meditation perhaps? Sounds like a worthwhile research project to me.

Vicki Miller
Guest blog

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