One of my friends is an experienced mindfulness teacher.
She sent me her weekly newsletter and within that there is mention of Dr Rick Hanson – the psychologist – with a link to one of his excellent presentations.
It was so good I thought I would include it in my regular blog (see below).
But it got me thinking.
Dr Hanson talks about the importance of him learning meditation skills, especially to help him recover from the difficult times he had growing up – you know the regular growing pains most of us go through and the feeling of not fitting in or being quite good enough.
He talks about how mindfulness has helped fill the ‘hole in his heart’ that these experiences created. Continue reading
At the moment the world is quite a turbulent place. If we think our children are too innocent or immune to the stories coming out in the media each day – think again.
Every time we listen to the news on the radio, watch it on TV or surf social media and the internet when our kids are around – they absorb what they hear and see. Even if they don’t understand it.
So we have a choice. We can either shield children completely from the world around them (but how do we stop this going on in the playground at school, sometimes in the classroom and at sleepovers?) Or we can help them build their resilience and cope with the ‘bad things and people’ in this world. Continue reading
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
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
Emotional vs Academic Intelligence
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
Are Kids in Canada Coping with Stress?
I’m writing this post with a focus on Canada. Why? Because I’ll be going there to teach in September and I wanted to find out more about how Canadian Kids could benefit from meditation.
What I find fascinating is that many of the issues facing young people in Canada are similar worldwide.
With 1 in 5 Canadian kids diagnosed with a mental health issues and research demonstrating that meditation can help, the time is now to equip young people with these life-saving skills.
Issues include a lack of self esteem, inability to self regulate behaviour, poor body image, bullying, high stress levels and an inability to cope. 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’m looking to change the education system in order that kids benefit from meditation – every day.
The very fact you are reading this blog suggests that you are interested in…
a/teaching your children meditation
b/teaching other people’s children meditation
… and you want this world to be a better place for children in the future when we are ‘not around’ any more.
The growing body of research suggests that there are valid and economic reasons for children and young people to meditate regularly.
Let me explain.
Reducing the Mental Health Bill
One of my students Ali Gray, is very passionate about the world learning meditation.
He is one of our Connected Kids students and together with his colleague, Gary Young, is pioneering a project to make it part of the school curriculum in Scotland.
At a ‘business and mindfulness’ conference, he heard the term ‘mindfulness cowboys‘ and wondered what this was about.
He asked me. I sighed.
You see, the term (and subsequent conversation at the conference) suggested that mindfulness was the only type of meditation available.
This is simply not true.