I remember the shine of fierce determination and pride when my son tied his shoes for the first time. He’s 19 now, but the memory is so vivid — it could have been last week. I can handle this, his whole body seemed to say. Henry was a late bloomer in the world of fine-motor skills. As he finished the first shoelace, his shoulders relaxed, and he looked up quickly to make sure I was watching. “I did it!”
Feelings of confidence and empowerment are palpable when students return to mindfulness class to report how they used their new skills.
“There’s a big window right in front of my desk. It’s a big one, ‘ said one Third-Grader. “I stare out it a lot. But now, I think about where my feet are and I look at my teacher. It’s easier to concentrate.”
Like the bunny ears we loop to help kids manipulate a thin shoelace, in mindfulness we tell kids to ask themselves, “Where are my feet?” This question helps students — of all ages — notice a wandering mind and gently return it back to the here and now of the place they’re in. If my feet are in the classroom, I should think about my work and what the teacher is saying.
One of the hidden gems of mindfulness is the sense of “I-can-handle-this” that blooms when young people learn to focus their attention, calm large emotions, and get some perspective on life’s challenges. One Ninth Grader reported stepping back from a group chat that turned ugly. “I just decided to stop texting for a while. I knew there wasn’t anything I could write that would be helpful.”
Mindfulness teaches kids how to manage their internal worlds of strong emotion and negative thoughts. With simple strategies, they begin to develop confidence in the DNA of who they are and what they can become.
Mindfulness programs for Kids, Teens and Parents are enrolling now. All classes are held at the Madison Community House in downtown Madison, New Jersey.
Register for September programs:
For information on mindfulness programs for kids, teens and adults, see Mindful Kids Fall Programs Flyer
To Register for class, click the link below and fill out the form and return it to Mary Lea at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can scan the form or take a photo of it.
All payments are accepted during the first class meeting.