Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mindfulness for children 2

I have discussed Mindfulness for children here and shared especially the work of Susan Kaiser Greenland.

Here is article on mindfulness for children.

Mindfulness is for all children, but especially for challenging kids. Mindfulness helps kids become intrinsically motivated, by addressing their needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness.

 They become more   mindful of the present, more autonomous by helping them connect to their inner beings, more competent by being   attentive in an impartial, non-judgmental /emotional way. They learn to identify the concerns of others and their perspectives in a compassionate way which builds connection and belonging.

Instead of automatically giving medication for attention deficits (give kids the attention they are lacking?), why not actually teach kids the skills of being attentive; see clearly what is happening, as it is happening, without the emotional charge. Having the perspective of a friendly impartial spectator puts themselves in a position to respond with compassion.

 Mindfulness teaches kids calming skills to settle the mind and see things more clearly. They can use these skills to help them deal with upset, calm themselves before a test, deal with anxiety and help them soothe themselves to sleep. 

Mindfulness can also help kids on the autistic spectrum who have difficulty in making eye contact. In the Hello Game we start with the color of your eyes, a practice that helps kids really look at somebody else in a way that is not emotionally charged. When kids look at others closely they start to notice and identify what is happening in their minds and bodies.

I recommend taking a look at Susan's web site for updates. She has a Ted talk on the new ABCs of learning.

'When I was in elementary school teachers used "the ABCs" as a shorthand phrase for the alphabet, a fundamental building block of learning to read. While the traditional ABCs are as crucial as they ever were when it comes to reading, there is another set of ABCs which, in their own way, are equally important to learning: Attention, emotional-Balance and Compassion. 

A strong capacity to pay attention helps kids and teens stay on task and do well in school. But attention without a context is only part of what kids and teens need to flourish in our complex and ever changing world.

 They also need Balance and Compassion. Emotional balance allows children and teens to see what's happening in their inner and outer worlds clearly without an emotional charge, and compassion is the lens or perspective that allows kids to see both sides of an issue at home and in school. Thus, it's important our kids learn a new set of ABCs too -- one that draws upon the very old values of Attention, Balance and Compassion '

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