I initially had the idea back in 2003 that we should be teaching our kids meditation and mindfulness.
Back then… there was very little in the way of resources that people could find to help them teach kids and teens mindful meditation practices.
How the landscape has changed (thank goodness!)
Today we see meditation and mindfulness being incorporated into many areas of a child’s life. These essential life skills will help them process increasing amounts of stress that we place on their small shoulders (diet, technology, lifestyle). I’m glad that people are waking up to the idea of teaching their kids meditation – in my view it is as important as teaching them to brush their teeth!
Why is creativity important to teaching meditation?
Since 2003, we’ve been teaching adults how to help kids and teens practise meditation.
What’s interesting is the way that we adults (initially) approach the idea of teaching kids meditation.
Some of us look for a ‘mindfulness wand’ that we can use (metaphorically speaking) to calm our children.
Some of us want to analyse and dissect meditation; how it works, the benefits, why bother teaching it.
Some of us think that it’s good for kids to learn it because we practise and thus try to teach our kids meditation in the same style/manner of our meditation practice.
The fact that you are even interested in teaching a young person these life skills (in our opinion) is amazing! The intention to offer this to young people is a gift and at Connected Kids, it’s our passion to leave this legacy for future generations.
But often we may attempt to teach children and find that either:
Dr Siegel is a graduate of Harvard Medical School. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He has a range of books dedicated to helping parents and non-parents to support children through their developing years.
Book Review – ‘the Whole-Brain Child – Dr Dan Siegel’
Enjoy my review of this fabulous book about child development; how to help them process difficult feelings and thoughts. Learn why I think it offers some practical tips on how to cope with difficult behaviours.Continue reading →
The other week we caught the end of the TV show ‘Child Genius’ – where children with (usually) a high score on Mensa take part in a quiz to become the Child Genius for that year. These kids demonstrate an amazing array of skills – from their ability to remember facts to computing arithmetic sums at lightening speed. It was impressive.
What was not so impressive was watching the stress these children experienced. The emotions they were feeling were bubbling under the surface (some cried) and yet the parents seemed to focus on scores and winning. Continue reading →
I was giving a talk recently (I do a few of these online talks to help inform, educate and give you the confidence to start teaching kids/teens meditation) and I came across a term ‘negativity bias‘.
It means that our brain and body constantly scan the environment for threats.If we detect a threat, we manage it as it activates our stress response (fight/flight/freeze) – which is designed to keep us alive.
What it means is that we are hardwired (neurologically speaking) to seek out the negative in our life experiences more easily than the positive ones.
As Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist and author of “Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom” argues thatour brains are like Velcro for negative experiences, and Teflon for positive ones.