If you have taken up mindfulness training it may be a good idea to consider whether your children may benefit from such techniques as well.

A programme into social and emotional learning started by Academy Award-winning actress Goldie Hawn to help school children improve their learning abilities has now been backed by new scientific evidence.

The researchers from the University of British Columbia found fourth and fifth graders who took part in a mindfulness programme were better at managing stress and were seen to be more optimistic and helpful than those who did not. It was also found that they were better liked by people of their own age than youngsters who took part in programmes that taught caring for others but that did not involve mindfulness. The programme also improved children’s maths ability.

This study – Enhancing cognitive and Social-Emotional Development Through a Simple-to-Administer Mindfulness-Based School Program for Elementary School Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial – was carried out in four primary schools in Coquitlam, B.C. in 2008, and was published in Developmental Psychology in January 2015.

More can be read about the survey at Science Daily.

If you want to reap some of the benefits of mindfulness you can always try to think like a child following these tips:

  1. Take a walk with a child. Approach your next walk like a child would. This will turn a normal route to your home or workplace into a sensory adventure.
  2. Brush your teeth like a child. Children have little natural rhythm to brushing their teeth as they have only recently started to learn this skill. Experiment with this alternative: brush with your opposite hand.
  3. Engage in a childlike activity. Draw with crayons. Read a picture book. Play.

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