Should 'Mental Wellbeing' be taught 1:1 or as an intervention?
Mindfulness should be taught to every single child. Even if you think that they do not ‘need’ it, it is a life skill that a) they may need in the future and b) it will improve their general well-being and happiness.
How long before we see a result?
If the program is followed daily (Monday – Friday), just for the 1-5 minutes a day, improvement in the chidren’s calmness, focus and concentration will be seen within the first week, improvement in their optimism, happiness, empathy, compassion and their ability to self-regulate their emotions will be seen within the first month and their improved academic performance will be within the first 3 months as mindfulness is a mental exercise that increases the working memory.
Will the children enjoy it?
Yes they will love it! They will be engaged by the animated videos and they will love the feeling the mindfulness creates in their bodies. They will feel calm, collected and in control of their emotions. They will be asking you to do Mindfulness with them every day!
Will the children feel comfortable doing this?
Because the program is video-based, the children don’t have to close their eyes while doing Mindfulness. They do not have to talk about their feelings or share their emotions. The videos may ask them to think about how they are feeling inside and these are not shared with the group.
What if my class are silly or not quiet when doing the relaxations?
When trialling our videos, we found that some children were giggling when they were doing their breathing exercises. We reminded the class to have a sensible attitude and gave out rewards (we used team points) to the 3 most sensible children. This encouraged them all to be mature!
Is it religious?
No. you may be thinking of meditation which originally came from the Buddhist religion but mindfulness is for mental health and well-being and is in no way linked to a religion.
Can children with special educational needs learn these techniques?
Yes. Mindfulness is actually more beneficial to some children with SEN. Children with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, or those who have problems controlling their anger or who worry too much could see great benefits from mindfulness. Feel free to follow the program for younger age groups if this is more suited to the class’s needs.