We are constantly telling children to pay attention, but we don’t teach them how.

To learn well in school, children need to pay attention and be able to focus. There is ever-increasing pressure in modern society for children to learn, to perform and to achieve. At the same time, the advent of internet technologies, electronic games, sophisticated advertising, texting and the pace of modern life compete for their attention.

Teaching mindfulness to children helps them to focus and to let go of worry, anxiety and doubt. Mindfulness also helps children to develop kindness and improve their ability to learn. Teaching mindfulness to children shows immediate benefits and has the potential to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems over time.

“When I’m upset, I let myself feel sad, and then I can feel happy again.” – Mindful Aotearoa in Schools participant, aged 7.

Research shows mindfulness helps children and young people to improve academically through increased attention, improvements in short-term memory, the ability to apply prior learning to new situations, increased creativity and development of independent thinking.

The Mental Health Foundation’s 2013 pilot research with AUT showed that the Mindfulness in Schools Programme:

  • Increased calmness
  • Improved focus and attention
  • Enhanced self-awareness
  • Helped with conflict resolution and the development of positive relationships
  • Reduced stress.

Amazingly, many of these findings were observed in both students and teachers.

You can donate to support the Mindful Aotearoa programme.

Your donations will:

  • Help schools to implement the programme
  • Contribute to the training of facilitators
  • Contribute to the development of online resources to support schools with their classroom mindfulness practice

Join us in supporting this wholly worthwhile initiative.

Source: mentalhealth.org.nz