The way we interact with our kids has a huge impact on the way they think about themselves and their levels of personal resilience. Practicing mindfulness at SHED helps us empower our children to feel valued, and find value within themselves. In the last few years mindfulness has emerged as a way of treating children and adolescents with conditions ranging from ADHD, to anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, depression and stress. And the benefits are proving to be tremendous. A study conducted with researchers at Stanford University showed that after 8 weeks of mindfulness training, the fourth through sixth graders in the study had documented decreases in anxiety, and improvements in attention. They were less emotionally reactive and more able to handle daily challenges and choose their behavior.
Research-based benefits of mindfulness with childrenResearch shows that mindfulness training increases connectivity in the frontal lobe of the brain, which is linked to improved attention, memory processing and decision making abilities. Mindfulness training involves tuning in to internal and external experiences with curiosity resulting in increased self-awareness, social awareness, and self-confidence. Mindfulness training increases children’s ability to self-regulate their emotions, especially difficult emotions such as fear and anger, through breathing and other grounding techniques. Mindfulness has been shown to improve empathy or the ability to understand what another person is thinking or feeling, which improves children’s awareness of others and helps them to build positive relationships.
Mindfulness and childhood mental healthMindfulness training has been to shown to reduce the severity of depression, anxiety and ADHD in children. Mindfulness builds resilience by giving children skills to help them to cope better with stress, as well as engage more fully with themselves and the world. We offer children designated time to explore, experience and practice mindfulness through specific facilitated activities and techniques but we also incorporate the mindfulness into our classrooms, our teaching, our listening and our learning as a continued practice and tool for working with our children.
Merrimack Valley Magazine | March 20 2020