As we gradually emerge from the shadow of Covid-19, children and teenagers face an array of emotional challenges brought on by prolonged social distancing. With a pre-existing crisis in children’s mental health, the consequences of lockdown have only added to the stress. One effective way to equip children with coping mechanisms is through mindfulness and meditation apps designed specifically for them. These apps utilize the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and are supported by extensive research.
Benefits of Mindfulness Apps for Teens
Mindfulness apps can address a range of issues from sleep disturbances to general anxieties, and can be a helpful tool in aiding relaxation after a long day. They also prove beneficial for more severe mental or emotional health issues. The market offers a plethora of such apps, each with unique features and benefits. Let’s explore some of the most effective mindfulness apps for children and adolescents.
Your Mindful Garden
Your Mindful Garden is an excellent starting point for young children. Narrated by actor, writer, and comedian Stephen Fry, this app introduces mindful activities in a fun and simple manner, helping children learn to relax and de-stress. It’s a part of the free Go Explore app from CBeebies and can be used offline. However, it’s worth mentioning that the mindfulness activities are mixed with educational games and videos.
For children aged 6 to 8, Chill Panda is a free app developed by the NHS, aimed at teaching children different ways to reduce anxiety. It combines mindful activities like breathing and colouring with an educational game. Although still under development, it can be a useful tool to help children unwind at the end of the day.
For older children aged 10 to 18, ThinkNinja is an NHS-approved app that provides a deeper understanding of mental health issues. It equips users with effective coping strategies through CBT approaches. A chatbot named WiseNinja guides users through different areas based on their responses, exploring relevant issues and strategies.
MindShift is a free Canadian app designed for teenagers and young adults suffering from anxiety. It provides strategies for confronting fears and worries by fostering more helpful ways of thinking.
Calm is a guided meditation app for adults that can also benefit children. It focuses on stress, anxiety, and sleep issues and has a dedicated section for kids and teens aged 3 to 17 years, featuring popular characters from Disney and Thomas The Tank Engine.
As a budget-friendly alternative to Calm, Serenity offers fewer options but at half the price. It’s a good option for those wanting to try meditation and for general stress relief and sleep issues.
The Covid-19 pandemic has undeniably left a significant impact on the emotional wellbeing of children and teens. However, with the right tools and strategies, parents can help their children navigate these challenging times. Mindfulness and meditation apps can be a vital part of this toolkit, offering valuable benefits and support. It’s essential to remember that every child is different and what works for one may not work for another. Therefore, find the app that best suits your child’s needs and help them embark on a journey towards improved mental health.