At Ladybird each child takes part in a 15-minute Mindfulness/Wellbeing session. We believe that children should experience the benefits of meditation and mindfulness to help them understand their feelings and the importance of meditation from an early age.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness simply means being present in the ‘here and now’ in our thoughts. With practice we can improve our ability to focus on the current moment without interference from overwhelming fears about the future and memories of negative events in our lives.
Mindful activities do not act as a magic wand that removes difficulties from our lives, but help us to deal with negative emotions such as anger, fear, resentment and jealousy without repressing or denying them. It is the fighting and repressing of such uncomfortable feelings that causes problems such as destructive and attention-seeking behaviour, self-harm and eating disorders, which are prevalent amongst our children.
Mindfulness and Meditation are beneficial for the following:
- Anger issues
- Difficulties sleeping
- Stomach pains
- Difficulties in maintaining focus
- Behavioural problems
Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness for Children
- Improves focus and attention – regular meditation strengthens the prefrontal cortex – the reflective part of the brain and encourages a state of relaxed, wakeful attention. Meditation also promotes a better quality of sleep which also boosts focus.
- Has a positive impact on the physical body – regular meditation and mindful tools help to boost relaxation and thus alleviate physical symptoms of stress e.g. tummy upsets, so less time off pre-school/school.
- Promotes self-regulation of behaviour – a strengthened prefrontal cortex allows children to be aware of that split second of time between stimulus and reaction thus permitting a considered response to stress e.g. being able to overcome the urge to react aggressively to another child who is goading them.
- Manages impulsivity – as children strengthen their prefrontal cortex, they are more aware of their choice of how to react to stimuli e.g. the teacher asking the class a question and the child being aware that they have a choice not to shout out the answer.
- Encourages positivity – teaching children how to process negative emotions and let go of negative thoughts and so that they can face regular aspects of life more easily, without being overwhelmed by fear and anxiety.
- Builds self-esteem – children know that whatever is going on around them they can choose how they react on the inside. They are more aware of those choices and responses and with this comes empowerment. They can be more confident about their ability to respond positively to situations they find stressful and modify their behaviour