We are often faced with a great deal of news recently hitting our headlines, post Covid and ongoing affects on individuals mental health.
However, the human spirit is rising to these challenges and instead of mindless division, many of those affected are bonding together to help individuals in need and to serve the greater good. There is an amazing surge of positive and kind community spirit.
But how does all of this affect us as parents? Many of us may be looking at our tots, toddlers and teenagers and wondering what sort of world awaits them as they embark upon the different stages of life?
First Steps to Mini Mindfulness
As an Early Years setting we have been looking into ways in which we can better support and prepare our little ones for the journey ahead and are introducing an established and wonderfully gentle practice called Mini Mindfulness, specific to Circus Day Nursery.
Struck by the long lists of reported mental illnesses and social media driven anxieties that older children are experiencing and the huge clinical and scientific evidence of Mindfulness in helping them to feel calmer and more in control, we wanted to look into how to introduce similar age appropriate resilience and coping mechanisms into pre school and nursery life.
After all why wait until symptoms may or may not appear? So this is where we are and why we have called this calming practice “First Steps to Mini Mindfulness”.
Through learning and using tools and techniques of mindfulness and relaxation, we can learn about our natural response to situations and give ourselves the possibility of another, different way of responding.
One of the biggest benefits of teaching mindfulness at a young age, is instilling the idea that children are in charge of their own thoughts and feelings.
As a child it can feel like everyone from parents to teachers is telling you how to act and behave. This can make children adopt the belief they are not in charge of themselves leading to anger, frustration and difficult behaviour.
For children to feel that they have some personal control, is immensely empowering. It’s about instilling the idea that no matter what is going on around them, they have techniques they can use to feel calm and relaxed, to be more in touch with how their body feels, the senses they experience, and to understand both other people’s as well as their own feelings.
Teaching meditative practices to children can improve their ability to pay attention, to control their tantrums, to make more considered decisions and to achieve resilience and balance.
We are aiming to help children to control anxious or negative thoughts before they develop recurring behavioural patterns.
We felt it was time to start taking some “First Steps” to prepare our children emotionally for the world around them…
First Steps to Mini Mindfulness” at Circus Day Nursery
Aside from the fact that our founder Sue Wilson is passionately dedicated to staying at the forefront of learning and development in the early years, she is equally committed to offering opportunities wherever possible to The Circus Family for their personal and professional growth to support all concerned.
Parents, staff and children alike all face moments of stress, charged emotions and overwhelm – for different reasons. Many of us have feelings of not being grounded in our own life or perhaps a desire to run away from difficult situations. This is part of life. And what creates our difficulty is not what happens in it, but our response to it.
“Mindfulness put quite simply, is AWARENESS. It is paying more attention to the present moment to improve your mental wellbeing. Being mindful means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside yourself, moment by moment.”
As adults, making just a little time for this each day improves our sense of well being, our compassion and connection to ourselves and those around us whilst reminding us of our joint purpose and motivation in our work and actions.
For all these reasons and more, we are very excited to be introducing relaxing and calming Mindfulness at Circus.
The Circus Family will embrace on some Introductory training with an established Mindfulness expert who will work with us to explore and select supportive mindfulness tools for carers which in turn will have a positive benefit in practice for the children.
We are looking into creating a peaceful “Mini Mindfulness” area and allocating a little time each week to do some gentle exercises with the children using simple breathing, body awareness and creative exercises. We are already seeing the calming and nurturing effects – so watch this space!