A MINDFUL CHILD
Gen Alphas hit the pause button
Although mindfulness and meditation are not new, historically, most research has been done with adults as the subjects. Recent studies suggest that mindfulness and meditation are extremely beneficial for children. When Gen Alpha practices mindfulness, it can help them focus and regulate emotions. In fact, new research suggests that kids are even more present and mindful than adults at baseline— and learning how to harness mindfulness at a young age can pay even greater dividends as they grow older. As Cassandra revealed in our Gen Alpha report, growing up in a world of extremes, this current generation of kids is being encouraged to find balance. Ahead, we explore three examples that help young people learn these practices.
PEACE OUT PODCAST
Featuring relaxing mindfulness stories for kids, Peace Out is a podcast for children to enjoy as they begin to wind down for the day and has been listened to more than 4M times. Made up of short stories that are perfect for both adults looking to teach mindfulness and children wishing to listen to a story. These short but sweet listens are a great introduction to the concept, with the addition of visualization exercises and breathwork techniques focused on kindness and fun facts so that young listeners can practice self-regulation and prepare their bodies for bedtime.
— Danita, 21 PA (Cassandra Collective)
SANKOFA MINDFULNESS ROOM
While the concept of children and mindfulness may conjure up images of kids with privileged or crunchy parents passing along these practices, the Sankofa Mindfulness Room Initiative sees the practice as a form of urban trauma healing and restorative justice. Sankofa comes from the African proverb that means ‘go back and fetch it’, and at the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Richmond, Virginia, students are learning to focus on their own awareness, building coping skills, and strong relationships with others. The creators of the Room say the location is a safe place for students to get curious, focus on active listening, hear what the other person is trying to communicate, and reflect on that mindfully. The creators are working to spread the Sankofa Mindfulness Rooms to other schools across the country, especially those in high poverty districts.
— Seth, 16, PA (Cassandra Collective)
MAC LEARNS TO ROAR: A MINDFULNESS BOOK FOR KIDS AND ANIMALS
Stephanie Cheung, a Canadian elementary school teacher, is passionate about bringing mindfulness into her classroom. Last Summer she launched her book, “Mac Learns to Roar: A Mindfulness Book for Kids and Animals” about a young lion who learns a new skill. While learning, he goes through frustration, anger, and sadness. His friends, teacher, and family help him by introducing simple mindfulness exercises to calm his mind so he can feel brave in learning how to roar. The book was written for both educators and parents to help their kids to be present and face life’s challenges, disappointments, and uncertainties with courage and calmness.