Does Meditation Work for Kids?

Joshua A. Krisch | Fatherly

It’s fair to say that mindfulness sounds like a good thing. And if you’re lucky enough to have a kid who’s into meditation, you have reason to be proud. In the immortal and likely inaccurate words of the Dalai Lama: “If every eight-year-old in the world is taught meditation, the world will be without violence within one generation.” The catch is that there’s little reason to believe that kids benefit from meditation or other activities associated with mindfulness. In fact, a recent study in Scientific Reports reviewing 22 randomized, controlled trials involving 1,685 participants concluded that meditation did not decrease aggression or prejudice. And the few studies that suggest meditation makes kids more compassionate were all either poorly designed or co-authored by people selling something.

“This, of course, does not invalidate Buddhist or other religions’ claims about the moral value and eventually life-changing potential of its beliefs and practices,” coauthor Miguel Farias of Coventry University in England writes. “However, the adaptation of spiritual practices into the lab suffers from methodological weaknesses and is partly immersed in theoretical mist.”

(continue reading)

The editorial staff of ORBITER magazine humbly pursues life's Big Questions, illuminating the human condition and our place in the universe.