The Mindful Kids
And Adults Too!
"It is vital that when educating our children's brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts."
Dali Lama

Mindfulness in Education...from my point of view

As a child, I remember being asked, year after year, to pay attention in class.  To me, that meant to look at the teacher and "look like" you were listening, but my mind was rarely where my eyes were.  I was always off thinking about something else, analyzing what just happened on the playground, wondering who I was going to sit with at lunch, planning for after school, worrying about being called on, etc. I didn't know any better. I followed each thought thoroughly until the next one arrived. 

Fast forward to my own classroom, decades later, and there I was asking my students to "pay attention."  It wasn't until I began practicing mindfulness that I realized that paying attention was an actual skill that needs to be, and can be, taught.  In a learning environment, such as the classroom, it is so important for children to learn how to focus their attention.  Our minds are forever wandering off either to the future or back into the past.  Rarely do they spend time in the present.  This is completely natural and normal and happens to all of us.  The first step in teaching how to pay attention is allowing the students to get to know their minds and how they work.  Once they are aware that the mind wanders and gets lost in thought, they can begin to learn how to bring their attention back into the present moment.  Mindfulness practice provides students very specific tools to help with this skill along with lots of opportunities to practice sustained attention.  

In today's world, the lives of our children are becoming increasingly hurried and stressed.  Whether it be social, emotional or environmental, the stresses they face are real and have the potential to interfere with their ability to learn.  We are seeing difficulties with attention and concentration, problems with their physical health and a decreased sense of happiness.   Mindfulness practice provides the tools they need to smoothly navigate through all the difficulties and challenges they will encounter and help them to be more balanced, grounded and empowered in the midst of life's ups and downs.

Note: Mindful Kids is an educational program and not a clinical intervention.

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