What are mindful kids? Simply put, mindfulness is awareness. It is noticing our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and anything that is around us and happening right now.
The purpose of teaching mindfulness to our children is to give them skills to develop their awareness of their inner and outer experiences, to recognize their thoughts as “just thoughts,” to understand how emotions manifest in their bodies… But how can you do this?
I was given three tools to help create mindful kids. This is pretty important to me as a mom because even when I was pregnant I was nervous that my child would be plagued with the same “big feelings” his mom is. Turns out he is, even more in some ways… He is in his head alot, he gets very sad for others, his giant heart is easily affected. He notices things I wish he wouldnt, he can pick up on others emotions very quickly and is very hard on himself. I am always looking for ways to turn this “weakness” into a strength.
I received three tools from the NPO called WISE (Wellbeing in Schools & Education). WISE is a NPO that specialises in bringing mindfulness to vulnerable children in schools in South Africa through tools such as kiddies yoga, self-esteem building games, loving kindness meditation, story-telling and biodanza dance. Founded by Carmen Clews (biodanza specialist) and Carol Surya (psychologist specialising in child well-being), the two joined forces in 2017 to teach children essential life skills (e.g. emotional intelligence, non-violent communication, forgiveness, gratitude and mindfulness) to those who need it most.
WISE is currently teaching their tools in schools in the Western Cape in underprivileged communities as well as child and youth centres, with the aim of expanding nationally. Since being active in schools, teachers have reported less bullying and aggression, and more focus and calm in the classroom. They have also noticed the difference in the way the children are interacting with each other, in a more kind and compassionate way. For example, they are choosing to solve fights and arguments by talking about their feelings rather than getting physical with each other. Overall, children are happier and more confident.
The resources are available to us mere mortals on their site . They gave me a yoga mat and book for Aidan, a self-esteem game and a parenting work book. (you can win the game and book on my social media pages)
I will be reviewing the work book and yoga book next week but for now let me tell you about this amazing boardgame that practically had me in tears.
What is the InnerMagic game?
A 7 piece interactive puzzle-board game, played between 2 to 4 players (or in teams of up to 8). Ideal for ages 5 to 13 year olds (and a parent, relative or therapist)
What is the purpose
A way to remind children of the “magic” (potential) inside each of us. A self-esteem builder for all players. A fun way to learn about feelings, problem solve and develop life skills
How does it work
A series of developmental activities and emotional intelligence questions
Our experience with the game
The game has a series of questions and tasks that make you think about yourself. It tackles how you view yourself and how you handle situations. You get points for challenging yourself to get out of your comfort zone
Do you have the guts to sing infront of your friends can you name a list if things that make you special. It’s very eye openeing and can leave you feeling a little vulnerable. But it’s a great resource to teach kids (and yourself) more about themselves
- You could try it out for yourself by winning it on my social media channels…keep an eye out