Summit County's Mind Body Spirit Connection | 970-409-2096

Creating a Happier Child without Spending Five Figures on Therapy and Medicine

Creating a Happier Child without Spending Five Figures on Therapy and Medicine

Have you ever felt this way?

Your child is stressed out and angry and you feel hopeless and unable to help?
Your child has ADHD, his or her grades are low, and you are not sure what to do?
Your relationship with your child is suffering and you are frustrated?
You notice your child treating others badly and you don’t know what to do besides punishment?

You are not alone.

Today, many children struggle with their social skills and have a hard time regulating their emotions. Meanwhile, their stress levels are increasing rapidly from the perpetual distractions of the digital age, high pressure to achieve, economic hardship, and emotional struggles (Kabat-Zinn, 2013). Ultimately, any one of these factors can hamper a student’s ability to learn (Tatum, 2009). It is very important for children to learn how to pay attention. That is where mindfulness comes into play. Mindfulness means being aware of the present moment in a non-judgmental way. Correspondingly, Summit Mindfulness teaches a comprehensive, evidence-based curriculum that fosters social and emotional awareness, psychological well-being and academic success.

It has been established that children’s social and emotional skills play an integral role in their academic and overall success. Neuroscientist Adele Diamond (2009) found that students who learn Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) techniques score higher on tests that require the use of the brain’s executive functions (coordinating and controlling, monitoring and troubleshooting, and reasoning and imaging). As mentioned above, our program is designed to help students become more optimistic. Hope changes our brain chemistry, which infl uences the decisions we make and the actions we take (Jensen,
2009). Furthermore, hope and optimism enable achievement. Hopeful kids are more likely to work harder and experience success, which leads to more success (Dweck, 2006). It shouldn’t come as a surprise that happy brains work better (Diamond, 2009). Dopamine prepares our brains for peak performance, and this dopamine surge is at its highest when students are optimistic, grateful, hopeful, and when they experience an overall sense of well-being. In addition, when kids derive pleasure from activities that generate positivity, they are less likely to do so from high-risk activities like drug use and violent behavior, which also promote dopamine release Galvan et al., 2006).

How can your child begin practicing mindfulness today?

Sit with your child in a quiet place, without any distractions, and practice the following steps:
1. Sit upright in a chair with your feet fl at on the ground. Don’t slouch.
2. Relax your shoulders and jaw.
3. Rest your hands in your lap.
4. Close your eyes about two thirds of the way.
5. In your head, count “one” as you inhale through your nose; then count “two” as you exhale through your nose.
6. Continue until you reach “ten.” Once you reach “ten,” start over with “one,” and work your way to “ten” again.
7. Repeat the process for the duration of the exercise. If you lose count, start over with “one.” Don’t worry; this is normal! The mind will wander, and you will lose count. Accepting this is a major part of practicing mindfulness.
8. Start out with about two minutes of this exercise. If possible, use a soft instrument like a bell to signal the beginning and end of your daily practice, and gradually increase your practice (over months or years) to about twenty minutes at a time.
9. After the closing bell sounds, open your eyes slowly. Take a deep breath and smile.

In summary, practicing mindfulness can help children earn better grades, cope with stress, and manage their emotions and behavior. Moreover, mindfulness can help them improve their concentration and become more empathetic and optimistic.
If you want to learn more about mindfulness, or if you’re ready for your child to improve his or her well-being, we invite you to contact Rob to set up your free fifteen minute consultation.

Summit Mindfulness
Rob Van Hyfte, M.Ed.
(720) 300-1896

2018-03-16T20:05:53+00:00 By |