Pioneering Mindfulness

We have had a great deal of heart-breaking news that has recently been hitting our headlines.

However, the human spirit is rising to these challenges and instead of mindless division and hate, 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 life?

One Parent’s Passion for Mindfulness

One parent in particular has been looking into ways in which we can better support and prepare our little ones for the journey ahead and she is introducing an established and wonderfully gentle practice called Mindfulness, specifically to Early Years’ settings.

Struck by the long lists of reported mental illnesses and social and social media driven anxieties that 11-18 year old children are experiencing and the huge clinical and scientific evidence of Mindfulness helping them to feel calmer and more in control, this parent wanted to look into how to introduce similar age-appropriate resilience and coping mechanisms into pre school and nursery.

After all, why wait until symptoms may or may not appear?

So this is where we are and she has called this calming practice:

“Mini Mindfulness”

The Benefits

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 baby steps to prepare our children emotionally for the world around them…

Practising Mindfulness and “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 and Circus are equally committed to offering opportunities wherever possible to The Circus Family for their personal and professional growth.

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.

Implementation

For all these reasons and more, we are very excited to be introducing relaxing and calming Mindfulness at Circus from this summer.

The Circus Family have had an Introductory training session with an established Mindfulness expert from London who has worked with us to explore and select supportive mindfulness tools for BOTH the grown ups (our carers, mummies and daddies) and of course 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!