Mindfulness for young people
Hey kids – just be 🙂
Everyone can benefit from meditation and mindfulness from tiny tots to older ‘young people’ there is great value to be had from the practice at all ages and stages.
I was part of the first group to be trained in the ‘.b’ programme in 2011, Tonbridge, Kent by creators Richard Burnett and Chris Cullen as part of the Mindfulness in Schools Project.
.b pronounced ‘dot be’, stands for ‘stop, breathe and be!’ It’s 9 lesson course for young people aged 11-19. The programme was written by experienced classroom teachers and mindfulness practitioners and evaluated positively by Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Since it first started it has been successfully rolled out to schools across the UK and Europe.
There is now a ‘Paws b’ course for primary school children age 7-11, I trained in this course in Edinburgh in July 2016
In November 2014 I went to Loretto College, Omagh to do a morning workshop with 150 14/15-year-old girls (year 11). The teacher wrote to me after:
“Just a wee note to thank you for your beautiful thoughts yesterday with the Year 11 group. Itwas a delight! I know the breathing exercises will be revisited by the students as a means to cope with present realities. Many thanks again – Donna”
In July 2015 i went to the Queen’s School for Girls in Chester to teach mindfulness as part of their yearly wellbeing festival. It is such a brilliant, progressive school! They quoted me in their wellbeing brochure.
I also gave a talk to 100 16-17 years olds at St Mary’s College, Magherafelt (2016) and I spent a day with teachers at Knockbreda Primary School, Belfast (2016).
Young people get stressed too!
Mindfulness is a proven way to help kids (and adults) manage stress – here a few recent articles from the news media.
Even the Government wants mindfulness introduced in schools: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/wellbeing/10694775/Why-does-the-Government-want-to-teach-mindfulness-in-schools.html
The Daily Mail say it helps improve concentration: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2579267/Lessons-meditation-Schools-teach-pupils-mindfulness-help-concentrate-deal-stress.html
Evidence from research studies here: http://www.mindfulnet.org/page7.htm
The MYRIAD project – 6000 young people to learn mindfulness via Oxford research project.
The research was based on the knowledge that adolescence is a vulnerable time for the onset of mental illness: 75% of mental disorders begin before the age of 24, and half by age 15. By promoting good mental health and intervening early, particularly in the crucial childhood and teenage years, we can help to prevent mental illness from developing and mitigate its effects when it does (Department of Health, 2011).
I was part of this project delivering mindfulness training to 9 teachers at Ballyclare High School in September 2018.
The MYRIAD Project involved more than 28,000 children, 650 teachers, 100 schools and 20 million data points. Many investigators and researchers, teachers and young people contributed to its success. It was an eight-year project, funded by the Wellcome Trust.
The results are very interesting and highlight the importance of the WHOLE environment when teaching young people mindfulness. It’s not just about the young person practising its the school and home environment and how much support there is available for the practice. You can read a good summary of the results here on the .b website.
If you are interested in Bridgeen coming to your school to talk to students or leading a course with a group of young people Please contact on email@example.com to discuss.
the .b course is excellent, check out the website to find out more about it and to find a teacher in your area mindfulnessinschools.org
Bridgeen posted a blog post on Facebook listing local ‘mindful kids’ teachers, as a resource for parent who kept asking me about it! Check it out here.
A teacher talks about ‘Caring for our children, caring for ourselves’, Mindfulness Bell, Spring 2014
More inspiration for mindfulness in schools watch this young American boy talk about how mindfulness helped him: http://www.onbeing.org/blog/everything-we-do-matters/7602