I’ve started running a new mindfulness workshop for kids. I call it Slow Down …. Mindfully. I strongly believe kids don’t need complicated theory but instead learn from the experiential so this workshop is very practical and designed to give them a taste of how it feels to be mindful. I hope that then encourages kids to bring that desire to be mindful into their lives more regularly, like a flow on effect!
Even for myself as an adult, I sometimes struggle with maintaining a mindful life. I love it when someone comments that I seem a calm person but that isn’t the reality 24/7. I guess that’s why there is only one Dalai Lama; we are humans struggling with our imperfections and hopefully accepting them in self-love as part of our own nature.
Children are no different. They too have periods of behaviour that we wouldn’t consider mindful and that’s fine – it’s part of their development and their own path towards leading a meaningful life. Because they may seem to be highly strung or over-excited some of the time, that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of being mindful. In fact, it is probably an indicator we, as adults need to offer them mindful opportunities.
I’m inviting you - as significant adults in your children’s lives - to provide opportunities for a slower, calmer way of being. In this modern world most of us live with a fair bit of stress ourselves or are influenced by those around us who may be, it’s a worthwhile goal to endeavour to reduce our and our children’s stress levels and mindful living certainly offers that.
When developing the workshop, I came up with four key themes to help kids understand what mindfulness is. They are simple enough to follow and the first two, ‘Be Slow’ and ‘Be Calm’ are really self-explanatory. ‘Be Present’ and ‘Pay Attention’ means to relate to where we are, to feel connected to our own bodies and the space we are in and then to pay attention and give our full concentration to whatever we happen to be doing or feeling right now, rather than engage in thoughts about what we did in the past or what we might do in the future.
We developed a simple poster (left) for our workshop that we think reflects the essence of mindfulness and is easy for kids to understand.
You can now download here, print it and mount it in your classroom or home as a gentle reminder to embrace those qualities and as discussion points and triggers to offer those opportunities. We love the idea of helping parents and teachers find ways to provide mindful opportunities. Our book Making Mindful Magic, our workshops, our free resources from our website and our social media activity on Instagram and Facebook offer experiences to be slow, be calm, be present and to pay attention.
It is tempting to put this in the ‘too hard basket’, kids can be boisterous I know and adults can be super busy (as can kids) but given the opportunities to experience mindfulness, who knows how significant a change can be brought around. I hope you agree that it’s worth giving it a try!