Meditation, Kids and Better Grades? It May Not Be As Far-Fetched As You Think

“Meditate. Breathe consciously. Listen. Pay attention. Treasure every moment. Make the connection.” – Oprah Winfrey When Oprah Winfrey touts the benefits of meditation, the practice has truly gone mainstream.   Asking an 8-or 9-year-old to meditate?  That seems like something outside the realm of possibility.   But giving your kids the opportunity to experience the centering positive aspects of meditation without actually expecting them to meditate is something most parents might consider.  Especially since research shows meditation increases activity in the brain regions used for paying attention, making decisions and academic performance. In a study published in the journal Psychological Science, college students who did meditation training designed to help them focus and stay present had higher accuracy scores on the GRE and scored higher on working memory tests when compared to their peers after the training. Richard Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the...

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A Less Distracted Kid Today May Mean A More Successful Adult Tomorrow

Did you know that research from Duke University shows that the strongest predictor of future success in children ages 6-12 is the ability to focus and concentrate? And that kids who lacked focus were more likely to struggle as adults? There is also evidence showing that kids who lack focus at age 5 are more likely to have problems in school by the age of 12. According to Daniel Goleman, author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, “the area of the brain that governs focus and executive functioning needs to have the experience of sustained episodes of concentration in order to build the mental models that create someone who is well educated. This means that we need to be even more intentional about teaching kids given all of the day-to-day distractions and competition for their attention.” Another study, from Oregon State University, confirms that one aspect of executive function skills in children,...

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Focus and Self-Control Linked to Future Success

Self-control—the ability to regulate our attention, emotions, and behaviors—emerges in childhood and grows throughout life, but the skill varies widely among individuals.   Studies show that focus and self-control can be linked to future success and that these skills can be learned and improved upon from childhood to adulthood.  Below is an excerpt from Scientific American discussing the importance of learning how to focus and improve self-control and its impact on our children's success as adults. A recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA tying childhood self-control to health and well-being in adulthood suggests that everyone, not just those most lacking the skill, would benefit from a self-control boost. Psychologist Terrie E. Moffitt of Duke University and her team focused on the self-control of a group of 1,037 children born in 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand. The investigators observed the children and took reports from parents...

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