Mindfulness is a meditative practice that involves learning to pay attention to the present moment with an attitude of openness and kindness.

If there was a way to potentially help kids pay better attention, exercise more generosity and kindness with their peers, perform better in school, and be more aware of themselves and others, would you try it?

There is increasing recognition of how social, emotional and cognitive functioning are intermingled; that kids may have difficulty in school when emotional challenges arise which in turn impacts learning.

Can you imagine how it could shift the climate of our schools, our community, our world, if cultivating these qualities was at the forefront of education? read more →

What is the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

Have you ever been asked to do a task – maybe you were starting a new job – and you believed before you started that you wouldn’t be good at it? Maybe you thought to yourself, ‘I am not going to be able to do this,’ only to try it out and realize that your fears were correct? This is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. A sociologist named Robert K. Merton created this term in 1948 to describe ‘a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true.’ In other words, the prediction we make at the start of something affects our behavior in such a way that we make that prediction happen.

Since studying it for my BA, The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (SFP) has become a concept that frames my entire life. It is the way that I understand the world. It feeds in to the way that I react with myself and others. It’s the important concept that changed my thinking forever. It is the premise that the way that we think of ourselves, and the way that others think of us moulds us. It is vitally important because it can directly affect the way that we experience the world.

If I believe that I can, then I can. If I believe that you can, it helps you to believe it too. read more →

Pet ownership can teach kids many important values and
build positive character traits like giving, empathy and kindness. 

One of the overlooked opportunities of pet ownership, particularly if it is the right pet, is teaching our children how to care for something dependent on them. Kids can learn the art of kindness and compassion through caring for another creature and putting its needs first. The attachment to a pet is also incredibly important for developing empathy in older children.

At What Age Should Pets be Introduced?

In younger kids there are some benefits to emotional intelligence and pet ownership, however the reality is that kids under 10 years of age can’t really be responsible enough to manage the day to day care of their pet. Piaget, the developmental psychologist proposed that the concrete operational stage between 6-12 years is the time when kids start to become less egocentric and are able to see outside their own needs. It is generally assumed that introducing kids and pets any earlier than 6 years is therefore probably not necessarily going to teach kindness and empathy. The period of greatest attachment to pets appears to be amongst 9-10 year olds. Of course the health benefits of pet ownership tend to come at any age, particularly in relation to allergies. read more →

Your vision will become clear when you look within

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“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”

– James Baraz

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Over the Easter holidays, I found myself sitting in the car with my two nieces, aged 4 and 10. We were driving down the country roads, windows open, sitting quietly – which was fairly incredible in itself as they’re noisy little munchkins and normally chatter for England.

The little one is a bright button of a thing – completely open and readable like a book, full of energy and a brilliant sense of the ridiculous. She’ll probably rule the world one day and then you’ll all be wearing tutus for breakfast, just wait and see.

The older one is not quite so simple. I think of her as a searcher. She’s always reading people, reading situations, gauging her response. The world is already a confusing place for her, and it can be heart wrenching to watch her trying to navigate through it. read more →

Children are the most important work

The best things in life are free!

Memorable days with your child needn’t cost the earth and often hold a lot more value when you use a little imagination and are prepared to step out of your comfort zone.

Here are 7 ways you can connect with your child, honor their unique self-expression and strengthen the parent-child bond without spending any money.

1. Let them dress you up and style your hair.

And if that’s not your thing, then they there’s always a massage, giving dad a shave or painting mom’s nails!

This exercise offers both parent and child the opportunity to tap into each other’s experience. Parents are reminded how it feels to have their hair yanked while being brushed or told what is and isn’t acceptable to wear. Children discover that taking care of others requires patience and kindness.

This activity allows us to reconnect with empathy and invites us to slow down and be fully present.

2. Play restaurant and make a menu or write a recipe book.

This is a wonderful opportunity to develop natural reading and math skills. Perhaps you have some special family recipes you can make together or pop in a home made recipe book. Use the internet to search for new healthy, yummy recipes to cook for your loved ones. Who knows, they may even become the new family favorites! read more →