Category Archives: toddlers

New online talk – this month

The 3 things your child needs for mental health – online talkhands touching to make a heart - child mental health and meditation

We’ve just announced our next online talk

It’s about using meditation and mindfulness to support the 3 things your child needs for mental health development.

There are limited places – the talk is live and available as a recording too. find out more - child mental health and mindfulness talk

 

Useful links…

Meditation idea for toddlers

 

A simple meditation idea to teach 5-year old kids (inspired by my Goddaughter – Libby!)

 

How to teach kids of all ages how to meditate

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).

Meditation CDs for children/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.

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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

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

Meditation to help you see the best in your kids and teens

Negativity Bias and Mindfulness

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. boy_meditating_eyes_closed_mindfullyIf 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 that our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences, and Teflon for positive ones.

I found this fascinating.

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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.

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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.

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Helping Kids and Teens connect to emotions through mindfulness

unhappy_girl (1)One of the issues that we face as children (and all the way through life) is recognising what we feel, when we feel it.

I have been practising meditation for years, yet just the other day I felt really flat and couldn’t name my feeling.

It was so frustrating and disorientating. I went for a walk and noticed where I could feel it (in my core) and eventually realised it was the energy of resentment (a form of anger). My logical brain wanted to work out what it was and why it was there, but my mindfulness experience taught me just to sit with it and let it come up to the surface. Fighting and resisting it was only going to fuel the flames.
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Toddlers to Teens – teaching kids meditation and mindfulness

Someone just emailed me with a great question which I’m sure many people think about.

“just curious as to what age you think would be the earliest to teach children meditation/mindfulness and what would be the ideal age to begin?”
Michelle

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