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.
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
So as you can imagine, I live and breathe anything to do with teaching kids meditation, children’s mental health and (teen’s) wellbeing. As a result, I collect a lot of information on this.
If you are on our Facebook page, Twitter or Calm Kids group on FB, then you’ll know that we have become a ‘library’ (so to speak) of useful articles and information, tips and ideas on these subjects).
So I felt it was high time to put many of them in one easy to find place.
One of our level 3 trainers told me that she’ld been into a couple of high schools recently to teach young people meditation.
The way she described the experience was so interesting, I invited her to write about it (and her journey so far) – and she obliged!
Thanks to Heather Mackenzie (who teaches in the West coast of Scotland) for this beautiful and inspiring article…
“Several years ago I had attended one of the first Connected Kids courses, convinced of the benefits of meditation through my own experience of it and keen to try some techniques with my own children.
I started up our facebook page ‘Teach Children Meditation Campaign’ to bring this subject to people’s attention and gather support. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that in just over a year we would have over 10,000 people liking our page. I am totally humbled by this wealth of support – thank you to each and every person who (like me) feels strongly about this subject.
I wasn’t sure what to do to celebrate the occassion, so I decided to do a special, special offer on my book ‘Calm Kids’ and the CDs for children/teenagers I have produced. So here it is. I’ll run it till the end of the month and hope you enjoy the words I share both in print form and spoken on the CD – as always they come from my heart.