MNO holds meditation workshop for kids

Submitted by: Ryan Plante, MNO Community Wellness Coordinator

Kids have stress too
MNO Community Wellness Coordinator Ryan Plante (right) teaching students
at Golden Avenue Public School how to meditate.

On February 6, 2014, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Community Wellness Coordinator Ryan Plante held a meditation workshop for students at the Golden Avenue Public School in Timmins.

Plante was invited by the school’s mental health team to hold the workshop as part of their Kids Have Stress Too program. Plante taught a class of Grades 1 and 2 students the benefits of meditation and how it can be a powerful tool in relieving stress.

“I was able to engage with the students, teach them about meditation, where it came from, the benefits of meditation, and how to properly execute meditation,” said Plante.

When children and youth experience stress, they do not always know how to deal with it. This can result in behavioural issues such as acting out, aggression or not listening to parents. Plante explained how meditation is a great way to help relieve stress in children and prevent these issues from emerging.

“Meditation is a technique that has been used for centuries, and the benefits for children are increased creativity, happiness, self-confidence, and an overall well-being,” Plante stated. “I was able to inform them that meditation can be fun and engaging. While meditating, children should focus on someone or something that makes them truly happy, the skies the limit. With that, the child would sit down cross-legged and always thinking about that someone or something that makes them happy. Doing this for one to 10 minutes is greatly beneficial for children and helps them calm down.”

Plante encourages families to join their children in meditation. Meditating as a family is beneficial for everyone and can lead to a greater bond between parents and children.

This initiative is just one of the ways the MNO is addressing the holistic needs of its communities at a local level. Through its Community Wellness Program, the MNO supports holistic approaches to the promotion of healthy living and the prevention of family violence.

Holistic Aboriginal health includes the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and cultural aspects of life. Through an understanding of self, a vision of wellness balances body, mind and spirit and is promoted through the healing continuum.

The MNO actively seeks to partner with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, organizations and governments to promote and encourage holistic health and culture-based programming.