Mindfulness in Schools

December 17, 2015      Comments Off on Mindfulness in Schools

When a child enters school, many “lessons” are taught. The goal is to have learning be intentional and progress to build confidence as skills are mastered… to have an environment that supports interest in assimilating ideas and nurtures positive self-esteem.

Unfortunately, learning can also come with a darker side ˗˗ unintended, unanticipated, undefended stress. Most, if not all, of us can remember a test that shook our self esteem or a classroom interaction where we felt inadequate.

Beginning as early as the first years of school, children face potential stressors in the challenges posed by having to adapt to new expectations, environments, and people.

Mindfulness is emerging as a way we can support children in their encounters with the full spectrum of their educational experience. Schools – from individual classrooms to entire school systems – are exploring and embracing mindfulness as an opportunity for youngsters to learn new coping skills of calming and centering themselves, enhancing their abilities to handle stress and to be able to focus.

A recent article in The New York Times, a round-up of mindfulness research in education, and a popular book on this burgeoning topic reveal the strength of interest emerging in this arena. While more research is needed and is underway, there’s the opportunity for parents and teachers to embrace the potential already shown… that mindfulness offers children a way to re-center and refocus, one moment at a time.

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