Category Archives: breath

helping kids and teens understand mindfulness

A quick tip to explain meditation to kids or teens

Founder of Connected Kids, Lorraine Murray, shares a simple idea to help motivate your kids to try meditation.

Learn meditation – for you and your kids

If you would like to learn how to create your very own meditations for kids/teens try our Connected Kids level 1 course – online or in-class) (This is the gateway to our professional level)

Or find ideas and tips in our book Calm Kids (beginners) or Connected Kids (working with special needs/anxiety).

If you want some creative inspiration you can listen to one of our Meditation CDs for children/teens >>>

Mindfulness Course for adults >>>

Toolkit for teaching mindful activities – kids on the autistic spectrum

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.”

Expert advice

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.

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Mindful Parenting Tips

How mindfulness helps you ‘see’ your kids and teens

I was inspired to write this after reading a blog from NY psychotherapist, Katherine Schafler, about the 4 unconscious questions a person asks themselves.  The one that connected with me the most was about ‘being seen’.

As a child I grew up in a culture where ‘children should be seen and not heard’.  This attitude may have been exclusive to the Victorian/Scottish parenting style at the time, but as an adult, it has left me with lots of thoughts and feelings to work through and process – sometimes with the help of a therapist or my meditation practice.

I am also a foster carer and one of the key things I’ve learned is that ‘being seen’ is essential in order to have a connection with the children we care for. 

I believe that my mindfulness skills, my personal meditation practice and my ability to introduce a ‘teaching meditation’ to the kids we care for in a way that meets their needs and abilities (and interests) has helped us start to build a an emotional and mental bridge between the world and kids in our care so that they can connect to the world around them in a more kind, loving and caring way.

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The #MeToo campaign and mindfulness

 

Like me you have probably become aware of the #MeToo campaign which highlights the level of sexual harassment that women experience throughout their lives.

As we can see, it has been an underlying epidemic that females have tolerated for thousands of years in all areas of life.

But I’m uncomfortable with the idea of saying #MeToo and adding my voice to social media.

I don’t deny that I’ve had some unsavoury and traumatising experiences growing up that I would rather forget.  My yoga and meditation practice has (and continues) to help me heal from this.

However the #MeToo campaign leaves me hanging.   It feels a little bit like watching a tragedy on the news and feeling helpless to ease the pain of those involved.  I observe friends saying #MeToo on social media and then I start to worry and wonder about them and their experiences.

It also hangs guilt and shame on the wrong shoulders – of the decent boys, teens and men who don’t want to treat women that way.  Perhaps If I were a man, maybe I would lower my gaze and no longer feel confident engaging with females.

But if I sit and reflect on the #MeToo campaign through my meditation practice, I have a sense that …

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back to school – with mindfulness

Helping kids return to school with less anxiety (and more mindfulness)

In Scotland our schools have already returned after the summer break, but in the rest of the UK (and perhaps worldwide) children and teens will be gearing up for their return.

Some will feel excited about the prospect of a new school or new term.  However many will feel anxious.

Cast your mind back to what school was like for you growing up and perhaps it will help you access some empathy and compassion for the young people in your life.

Returning back to school is a challenge for many, but we can give our kids some mindful skills to help them negotiate this tricky time.

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Helping kids be mindful during the holidays

 

Mindfulness and the holidays

The summer holidays can be a long time to spend with your kids.

You love them but your whole routine can change and even though holidays are meant to be enjoyable, they can be a little bit stressful too!

So here are some tips and ideas to help you keep up your meditation practice and help your kids practise mindfulness during the summer break.

(Photo courtesy of Jennifer Furtney Miller – “Here is my 5 year old son meditating in the pool. Trying to compose himself during a conflict with his 7 year old sister. We love this photo. He often joins us at 6am to meditate too. Namaste.”) Continue reading

Breathing in Breathing out Meditation for Kids

 

Some of you may remember that several years ago I attended an Educator’s retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh.

During the retreat we learned some mindfulness songs for kids –  this was one of my favourites.

Acknowledging the breath can be a difficult concept for kids to grasp.  This breathing meditation video for kids gives a great example of actions, words and song to engage their interest.

By helping kids of all ages to notice their breath they have a self-care skill that can help them move out of fight/flight/freeze and lower anxiety levels. 

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Getting kids to eat – mindfully with chocolate

The festive season is upon us and we know how much chocolate and cookies we’ll be eating (and especially our kids!).

So to help us through this ‘sweet season’ here’s a guide to eating chocolate (or cookies) mindfully that both you and your children can enjoy.

Happy holidays!

Training Courses in Teaching Meditation >>>

Online connected kids >>>

Calm Kids >>>

Connected Kids (autism and special needs) >>>

Helping kids manage behaviour with meditation and yoga

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 boy_angry_meditation_behaviour_class_mindfulnessfocus 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

6 steps to creating a meditation script for kids or teens

Excerpt from Calm Kids

This is an excerpt from my book Calm Kids where I teach you the 6 important steps to creating your very own meditations.

It is a key part of the level 1 course that I teach online/in class.

It can be used to help develop guided meditations or mindful practices.

 

Online connected kids >>>

Calm Kids >>>

Connected Kids (autism and special needs) >>>