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Mindfulness For Kids: How To Teach Your Child To Live In The Moment

The Huffington Post – Alyson Schafer

“Have you ever had the experience of driving somewhere and not even remembering the ride? Too often our brains are running on auto-pilot — we spend time dwelling on the past or planning the future and miss being awake to the here and now. Yet, the only real time we can experience and impact is this very moment. That is why mindfulness is so important and practicing it can lead to a multitude of health benefits. Children can also benefit from practicing mindfulness: schools across North America are slowing beginning to incorporate mindfulness practices in daily classroom routines. Even if your child’s school doesn’t have a program, you can take the initiative to teach your child at home by following these simple tips.”(more)

Close your eyes and breathe: schools sign up to mindfulness

The Guardian – Rob Walker

“It’s Wednesday morning and the children from year 5 at St John the Baptist primary school in Brighton are chatting noisily at their desks. A bell chimes and the chatter stops. Thirty children close their eyes and place a hand across their chest, breathing in and out slowly. It’s as if they’ve been hypnotised. “If your mind wanders away, let’s notice where it goes,” says Kerstin Andlaw, in a soothing voice. “Then bring your attention back to your breathing.” The pupils are practising mindfulness, a way of making them stop, relax and “be”. Classes like this used to be the preserve of independent schools, but this year more state than private schools have signed up to mindfulness classes, both at secondary and primary level. According to the Mindfulness in Schools Project, there are 1,350 teachers being trained in the technique this year, double the number taught last year and up from 90 in 2011. Nationally, more than 4,000 teachers are now qualified.”(more)

Child obesity: Make exercise a natural routine

The Green Bay Press-Gazette – Nick Rozek

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 20 percent of children ages 2 through 5 in the United States are overweight or obese. September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and this is a good opportunity to create and encourage healthy behaviors. Consider the following advice to make physical activity a natural part of each day, and to help create a healthy lifestyle change and increase the activity levels of our young people.”(more)

Preventing obesity with mindful eating

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Traditional advice for helping families ensure their children and teens maintain a healthy weight begins with a focus on balancing calories consumed from food and beverages with calories used through physical activity and growth. Dr. Lenna Liu, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and Child Wellness Clinic, uses a slightly different approach to support families with the complex issue of weight management. She starts by encouraging families to adopt a mindful approach to eating. In observance of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Seattle Children’s asked Dr. Liu to explain mindful eating and give tips for how to create a positive environment in which to enjoy food to fuel our bodies. “Mindful eating is a more compassionate and holistic way to approach healthy eating,” said Liu. “It not only focuses on what foods we eat, but on how our bodies feel. It allows us to pay attention to hunger and fullness, emotional connections to food and the relationships involved in eating.” Mindful eating focuses on positives, rather than focusing on food restriction, counting calories and watching the scale for weight control.”(more)

Mindfulness helps children as young as 3 manage their emotions during school

Medical X-Press – Ashley Jupin

“Mindfulness, a practice that’s growing in popularity, is widely praised as an antidote for the stresses of everyday life and a resource that can help many—from anxious dieters and harried employees to recovering addicts and hospital patients—decompress. Now mindfulness has found its way into a classroom in Watts, where children as young as 3 are using it to manage their emotions and stay calm. Using a strategy called Calm Classroom, students, ranging from transitional kindergartners to fifth graders at the Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School, are being guided by teachers three times during the school day through three-minute mindfulness exercises that call on students to refocus their attention on deep breathing, relaxation and body awareness.”(more)

How Mindfulness and Storytelling Help Kids Heal and Learn

KQED News Mind/Shift – Juli Fraga

“When mindfulness teacher Laurie Grossman instructed a class at Reach Academy to let their eyes rest and close so they could focus on their breathing, one student’s eyes remained wide open. Instead of following Grossman’s cues, the student refused to close her eyes and stared at her friend. This kind of response is not unusual for students who come to school after having experienced trauma, such as the death of a parent, emotional neglect and homelessness. Neurological research shows that tragic experiences can affect brain development and impact a child’s ability to concentrate and relax. As a result, students who grow up in these circumstances believe that it’s important to always keep a watchful eye on their surroundings.”(more)