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MINDFULNESS FOR YOUTH AND CHILDREN

In a modern world where dual income households are increasingly the norm, children are often left on their own, with digital gadgets as playthings and substitute guardians. Increasingly parents are discovering mindfulness training as a much needed antidote to the side effects created in such an environment–constant distractions and need for immediate gratification and dependency on the digital world for all sorts of uncensored information during crucial developmental years.

Mindfulness benefit young people by giving them the skills to:

• Have a greater sense of awareness of themselves and whatever maybe causing difficulties;

• Relate to the difficult with calm rather than worried attention;

• Pause when facing difficulties, using the body and breath as portals of awareness;

• Make decisions more wisely; and

• Befriend their own mind.

The capacity to be mindful is intrinsic in us, and when mindfulness is introduced at a younger age, it can have significant and lasting effects well into adulthood.

Mindfulness training programmes for young people have sprung up in recent years. Schools around the world have embraced mindfulness training formally and informally for both students and staff.

MINDFULNESS COURSES FOR YOUTH

Taught with striking visuals, film clips and activities, .b and pawsb are programmes developed by the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) in the UK.

.b is a fun and engaging 10-session course ideally suited to young people between the ages of 11 and 17 years. It is adapted from the adult courses Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). A companion course, paws .b, for primary school aged children, is ideally taught to 7 – 11 year olds.

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