Meditation Helps Kids Chill Out, Reduce Impulsivity


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Despite some high-profile Hollywood interest, kids meditation is mainly a grassroots movement that is slowly gaining a toehold in schools, small studios and homes across the country.

Kelly, the Boston father who has meditated with his son for three years, founded a children's meditation program called Boston Buddha four years ago and began teaching "mindfulness" techniques to K-5 students in the Milton, Mass., School District.

His youngest students -- second-graders and below -- practice a series of exercises that focus on the five senses. This, he said, helps them learn how the sound of a pencil tapping, the smell of pizza or the sight of a classmate fidgeting can distract them.

"The magic moment where they understand mindfulness is when they can catch themselves not paying attention. That's their chance to control their impulsivity. It helps them stop themselves from doing things like jumping on the couch or whacking their younger brother," Kelly said.

For parents who can't find a nearby program or, like Kelly, is willing to teach meditation techniques to their children themselves, there are plenty of resources.

The Teach Children Meditation Facebook fan page advises parents on how to teach their kids to meditate. There are also dozens of podcasts, audio recordings and websites dedicated to children's meditation.

And, of course, there's even an app for meditation: The Smiling Mind website and free smartphone app have downloadable programs that lead children as young as 7 through a mindfulness meditation practice.

Tweet Chat: The Health Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

A regular mindfulness practice can benefit any brain of any age.

Join Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' chief health and medical correspondent, for a one-hour tweet chat on the health benefits of yoga and meditation today from 1-2 p.m. ET.

Experts from the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, Harvard Medical School, the Cleveland Clinic and many other organizations will be tweeting in as well as top yogis and average yoga and meditation lovers from around the world.

Want to participate? It's easy. Here's how. Follow the conversation or jump in with comments and questions of your own.

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