Recently in my art class I had a 17-year-old high school student whose father had been meditating with him from the time he was quite young. I could sense in this student a sensitivity far beyond his years. This student became a positive model for the other boys in our high school because of his own love of meditation, and the kindness and support he showered on everyone. Today he is excelling in his college studies and has truly kept his high ideals.

I reflected on how meditation, if taught at a young age, could help teens and pre-teens handle stress in constructive ways, resist negative peer influences, and experience more fulfillment in their lives.

For our children to embrace meditation, we need to create a supportive “environment.” It’s important that they’re not over-stimulated by things like videos, television, and negative music. Days packed with activities can ruin a child’s emotional psyche. Make time to read books together, to do chores together—to do the simpler things that allow us to slow down and just enjoy each other’s company.

Sara Cryer, an Ananda Lightbearer, teaches art at Living Wisdom High School at Ananda Village where she lives with her family.

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