‘Do We Want Our Children To Thrive?’
I think we would all agree on the answer to that question — A resounding Yes!
And I think that by introducing a little Mindfulness into their lives is one of the ways we can make this happen.
Mindfulness is simply an ability to attend to the present moment with curiosity and without judgement. It is a life skill that promotes well-being, concentration, resilience and empathy.
I have written extensively about Educating for The Future and how the practice of Mindfulness can play an important role. Indeed, how introducing Mindfulness into education practice and into schools will help us to reset the bar and where it already has, the benefits for children who participate include:
- Lowered levels of Cortisol (the stress hormone)
- Improved attention and concentration spans
- Calmer classrooms and happier children, &
- Improved maths scores, more collaborative learning and sharing, and less falling out.
It’s never too early to learn the benefits of relaxation with Mindfulness
That we should be investing early in the lives of our children is for me, a no-brainer. It’s a fundamental given in helping them to grow-up to become independent, vital, creative, collaborative, resilient, resourceful, productive and happy adults.
Adults who can fully contribute, both economically and socially!
High on our collective agenda then should be making Mindfulness an integral part of the core curriculum within school and putting well-being and well-doing front and centre.
This though is all out with the home. We know that where children are experiencing Mindfulness in the classroom, parents report that their children are sleeping better at home, so what can we do to bring it in-house as well, so to speak?
A Parent’s and Teacher’s Delight
In fact, wouldn’t it be great to have to hand something that for Mindfulness was both a parent and a teacher’s delight? Something that could be used both at home and at school.
Something that concentrates on body scan meditations, visualisations and breathing exercises, to help children cultivate a whole-body awareness of what is going on both in their minds and their bodies, purposefully and without judgement.
Something that helps to promote emotional regulation and create a sense of calmness, resilience, happiness and well-being.
Mindfulness for Children
Then I came across an app. called ‘Mindfulness for Children’. It’s been created just for this purpose and it’s been developed by a Danish couple, who were inspired by the work of Dr Dan Siegel who also developed the Mindup programme for schools in the USA with the Hollywood actress Goldie Hawn, and Susan Kaiser Greenland, among others.
Children, parents and teachers in Denmark, the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK are already using the app. and as Pia Holgersen, who developed this teaching tool with her partner Jannik says, “Our app. offers simple but effective exercises, for noticing body sensations and thoughts and then enabling the user to become comfortable with them”.
Pia who’s also a trained Psychomotor Therapist continues, “Our original idea was and remains that children should be first taught about Mindfulness by a trained Mindfulness teacher, but then use the app. to practice with their parents at home”.
The Research & Science is certainly with them and if it helps a child to feel calmer, happier, more fulfilled, able to concentrate and perform better in class too, then… Well perhaps we should let Susan Kaiser Greenland author of ‘The Mindful Child’ and ‘Mindful Games’ have the last word on that, “Through Mindfulness children nurture positive qualities like kindness,compassion and open mindedness as they learn more about themselves, other people and the world. Educators prise all of these capacities and insights and they’re ones that parents hope their children will develop”.
For more details about the ‘Mindfulness for Children’ app, visit: http://mindful-app.com & not that I’m a betting person but who knows, if our children thrive perhaps our world will too!
Paul Mudd is the author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. He is also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, business growth, organistional and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at email@example.com and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd