Category Archives: teens

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.

Continue reading

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

15 seconds to change schools with meditation and mindfulness

 

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

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) >>>

Child Genius – academically bright but emotionally inept?

Emotional vs Academic Intelligence

The other week we caught the end of the TV show ‘Child Genius’ – teach_children_meditation_boy_wearing_glasseswhere 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

How to help Kids in Canada thrive – with meditation and mindfulness

 

Are Kids in Canada Coping with Stress?

I’m writing this post with a focus on Canada.  Why?  Because I’ll be canada kids stress and anxiety mindfulness 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

Is technology disconnecting our kids?

 

In society we want things easy.

Maybe it’s a combination of technology, lifestyle and the way boy reading text on phoneour 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.

Continue reading

Mandala meditations for kids

I love mandalas.

teaching children meditation with mandalas

www.mandalaproject.org

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.

Continue reading

Changing Education with Meditation and Mindfulness

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 meditationchanging education with 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

Continue reading

watch out for mindfulness ‘cowboys’

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 cowboymindfulness 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.

Continue reading