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!
Creating a space to teach mindfulness to kids with autism
We were asked a question about the types of tools people could use if they wanted to teach their kids (who are on the autistic spectrum) how to feel calmer and less stressed using mindful activities.
” I will be moving into a purpose built unit for children with autism shortly and I have to kit out the sensory room. I’m wondering if you can suggest anything in particular that would be beneficial.”
We write about this subject all the time…particularly in the 2nd book – “Connected Kids‘.
However we have taught thousands of people how to teach kids meditation, and thought that many of our Connected Kids Tutors would have great, practical advice.
We were right!
Here are some wonderful ideas that may help your kids on the spectrum bring their energy back into balance with meditation and mindfulness.
(Guest blog written by one of our Connected Kids Level 1 Students from Denmark…)
Many children with ADHD have difficulty falling asleep at night, and parents of children with ADHD often see that their children rarely seem to be rested when it is time to go to school.
When children go to school or kindergarten feeling tired, it means that their internal battery is not fully charged. They get into conflict more easily, find it harder to stay focused, and their emotions are unstable because of a poor night’s sleep.
Yoga and Mindful Activities for Anger in Kids
We are delighted to share some words of wisdom written by one of our Connected Kids Tutors, Yvonne Payne.
Yvonne has been working with children using mindful activities and yoga to help them focus and manage strong emotions such as anger.
Yvonne had been telling us about 2 different sessions that were creative and inspirational so we asked her to share this direct experience with you. We hope you find it useful.
“I’ve been working with two boys – each on a 121 basis. The journey so far has helped me change my approach to yoga and meditation – helping me to teach in an intuitive way.
Here’s an insight into their background.” Continue reading
In society we want things easy.
Maybe it’s a combination of technology, lifestyle and the way our brains are developing. Reading the book ‘Mind Change‘ has been fascinating as I learn I am a ‘digital immigrant’. That means I have been introduced to blogs, emails and the tech stuff later in my lifetime.
According to the author, Baronness Susan Greenfield kids are ‘digital natives’ – in other words their brains are introduced to it from the day they are born and it is shaping how their brains develop.
I love mandalas.
They are one of the most effective ways to teach children mindfulness skills while they meditate.
The idea behind mandalas in Buddhist practices is to create the mandala out of coloured sand while paying attention to thoughts, body, breath and emotions. Then when complete, the mandalas are released to symbolise impermanence and non-attachment.
However we can use paper mandalas just as effectively with young people.
If you find it difficult to get your kids to sit still and meditate in the way you think they should, then you need to change the way you think about meditation. Mandalas can help you do this.
I wasn’t sure what to write about in my recent blog.
I get a bit tired of emails or blogs all sounding the same and a bit ‘salesy’.
But that’s not me.
So I decided to let you know why I feel responsible for your child’s happiness.
Every time I read about the stress young people and children experience or the difficult circumstances they encounter with no skills to process it, it makes me think of me.
I think about my life as a young child, with a single mum who did her best to clothe and feed me but who didn’t always have the time to play. I know that had my mum known how to create bedtime meditation stories to help me sleep she would have helped me (and her) cope with some very anxious times.
I had good intentions…
I wanted to write an post about perception and how we what we see and perceive is what we experience. It’s how our brain works and how it helps us interpret life.
If our brain is wired differently then it can be challenging to respond to life in the way we want to (until we become aware of this – aka having a meditation practice makes you aware of this!)
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a condition very close to my heart as I see kids who benefit from learning easy, simple mindful activities that help them out of their stressed state.
They enter that state very easily as they basically live there. It’s not an easy existence and while I don’t think meditation is the/only answer, I do feel we need to give kids/young adults experiencing this, all the help they can.
Plus we need to be informed and make informed decisions.
A very kind person, Patricia Sarmiento, at public health corps, sent me some really useful information which I hope you can share.
Creating a comfortable, home environment for kids with ADHD >>>
Talking to your kids teachers about ADHD >>>
Helpful activities for ADHD >>>
Plus my own blog piece I did a few months ago …
Teaching kids with ADHD how to feel calm with meditation >>>
With 6.4 million children in the USA and 132,000 children in the UK having been diagnosed with ADHD… something has got to change.
I love showing people how to teach kids meditation. I am constantly amazed at how children and teens respond to mindfulness and mindful activities and it gives me no greater joy to see the delight of the adults who teach them.
Often adults are amazed how kids respond. Perhaps adults think that it must be difficult for kids to meditate because adults usually struggle at the beginning. I don’t believe this is true and especially for kids with special needs.
I believe in them. I believe that kids with special needs are just as capable of finding moments of peace if we show them how. I refuse to accept that they can’t do it and know that it is my purpose to help find a more creative, fun and adapted way for them to access this important life skill we call meditation.