Benefits of Mindfulness for Children

  • Increased emotional regulation
  • Increased social skills
  • Increased ability to orient attention
  • Increased working memory, planning and organization
  • Increased self esteem
  • Fewer conduct and anger management problems
  • Increased sense of calm, relaxation, and self-acceptance
  • Increased quality of sleep
  • Decreased test anxiety
  • Decreased ADHD behaviors (hyperactivity and impulsivity)
  • Decreased negative affect/emotion

Practicing Mindfulness Toward Your Class

Non-Judging

Our minds are constantly attempting to categorize or judge experiences. Over time, as you build associations with particular experiences and judgments, you form mental habits around judging. Negative judgments can lead to negative and inaccurate perceptions. Unnoticed, judging can stifle the potential of the teaching relationship.

You cannot always stop judging, but through mindful awareness, you can become aware of and suspend judgments as they happen in your teaching. This allows you to focus on your students, teaching in the moment and without judging, so you can respond more appropriately and effectively.


Curiosity

Set aside expectations and assumptions and bring your curiosity to all that you do not know about the student.

When you notice you have an assumption, want to offer advice or think you know what is best for the student, you can simply remember the phrase "already knowing." This becomes a signal to employ your curiosity so that your students can experience the necessary insights to move forward.


Acceptance

Acceptance helps you experience yourself, situations and your students as they truly are in this moment. This is not the same as complacency or a lack of desire to change. Often your reaction is to resist the way something is, creating distress and unease. You can also miss out on valuable information available in the moment that can prevent you from making fully informed choices about how to move forward.

Acceptance allows you to stop resisting what is and learn from it instead. For example, if you are new teacher, accept your current teaching skills in order to create a realistic plan for how to improve. Likewise, when you accept your students’ strengths and challenges as they are, you strengthen the teaching partnership and are more easily able to assist your student to identify ways for them to move forward with their goals.


Compassion

It is normal for teachers and students to experience challenges as you progress toward goals. It is important that you meet these moments with a sense of compassion. Self-criticizing and judging may stem from a desire to improve, but the consequences are typically not positive.

With mindful awareness practice, you can become aware of negative self-talk and begin to generate compassion for your experiences. Turning compassion inward allows for a more balanced view. Showing compassion towards students can increase empathy for the difficulty involved in making changes. This compassion can help students feel committed to and cared for. This in turn can increase their level of engagement with the teaching relationship and their goals.

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