How to have calm, obedient, smart, happy kids
"Obedient" is not my speciality. For everything else, I may have an answer.
Children are very stressed these days. Bullying, social media, peer pressure, physical issues connected to growing up, exams, isolation, you name it. Your children need tools to help them face life as it has been presented to them in the XXI century. Research shows that mindfulness can have a positive impact on your child's growth and future resilience.
For children who are very dynamic and find it hard to stay still for any amount of time, tai chi and qigong can be the answer. Tai chi and qigong are Eastern practices based on the acupuncture meridians. It is like a moving meditation. It teaches children to stay in the moment, and calms down their nervous system.
Being mindful means paying more attention to the present moment in any activity. I teach children mindfulness by doing activities that they love, such as colouring, walking, chanting, imaginary visualisations, etc. The visualisations are child-friendly (mindfully savouring an imaginary ice-cream, or flying over the moon with a magic carpet, etc.) They will calm down and discover that there is a place inside themselves where they can go to feel relaxed.
Benefits of mindfulness:
a/ It helps alleviate stress, preventing health issues: In our society, children are exposed to many stimuli that can cause stress. Stress itself is necessary for life, but if the fight or flight response triggered by the stress response in the body continues for a long time, it can result into health issues, including mental health issues. Mindfulness can stop the stress response and bring the body to a calming state by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
b/ It can improve school results: Normal stress levels facilitate brain development, focus, and concentration skills, resulting in better overall performance in school.
c/ It helps with emotional regulation: mindfulness teaches children that both negative and positive thoughts and feelings are normal aspects of life. They learn not to fear their emotions, and are better equipped for their emotional life, both in terms of relationships with other children and sitting exams or studying.
d/ It helps build resilience: Resilience is the ability of people of overcome difficulties during their lifetime. With these tools, children learn how to engage their pre-frontal cortex. This is a region in our brain that allows us to make sense of our experience. Studies have shown that activation in this area results in better mental health and ability to recover from trauma. When they learn mindfulness, children learn a tool for life that can help them activate their prefrontal cortex when they are hit by trauma or life difficulties.
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art composed of kicks, punches and blocks. Qigong is a set of movements imitating nature: animals, trees, etc. Some people call qigong Chinese yoga. Children love all of these movements because they can have fun pretending to be a monkey or a tiger or standing still like a tree. Or releasing their energy with kicks and punches. Both tai chi and qigong exercises are done slowly, creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere for children.
Because I have a very vivid imagination, I make up funny stories to teach the movements to adults and children, so they are easier to learn, and we can all have fun and feel relaxed at the same time. Rainbows, ice-creams, butterflies and similar images are used so that children can remember the movements easily.
I regularly teach tai chi & qigong to children and young people with learning difficulties. Staff members responsible for these children have reported their surprise at how engaged they are in the activity for a whole hour. Autistic and ADHD children may especially benefit from these ancient arts as they can release feelings of frustration and anger or excessive energy.
Because tai chi and qigong are mindful movements, they have all the benefits explained in the previous section.
Mindful Activities Near
I am available for one-to-one and group sessions.
The one-to-one sessions will take place in my home studio in Teignmouth or at your home. The price per hour is £35 in my home studio. For home visits, please contact me. Parents or carers are welcome to the mindful sessions.
I am available to run 5-6 sessions in primary and secondary schools in the Teignbridge - Exeter - Torquay area. Please contact me to arrange this.
I run occasional mindfulness groups in my home studio. Please contact me to be included in my mailing list and hear about these events.
I am planning to run at least two weekly group sessions in Shaldon and Newton Abbot from September 2018. Please visit this page again or contact me to be included in my mailing list.