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Does a calm down corner teach kids to hide emotions?

1:08 pm 31 January 2021 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

Earlier this week one of my lovely Mindfulness for Children brought a post about calming tools and calm down corners to my attention. The post suggested that using calming tools for kids was teaching them to shut down their emotions. That using a calm down corner with kids sends them the message that we do not want to hear about their big, “negative” emotions. And that placing too much emphasis on calming down is simply another way of distracting children from emotions and teaching them to hide them from us.

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9 tips for a happy, successful school year

1:10 pm 23 January 2021 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

The start of the school year brings with it all sorts of emotions. Nervous excitement. Hopeful anticipation. Happiness to be reunited with friends. Relief to be returning to routine and structure. Disappointment over the end of summer holidays that always feel too short. Dread over the return of those blasted school lunches. And of course, fear and anxiety about what the new school year may bring.

But ultimately, as our precious, back-pack laden babes head bravely into a new school year, most parents are wishing for the same thing. We want our kids to have a happy, successful school year. Whatever that may look like for them.

And with a little bit of forward planning, we can ensure our children really thrive at school this year. We can equip them with the tools, skills and support they need to have a successful school year. Here’s how.

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Kids can get lonely. Here’s why that’s more concerning during the pandemic (Nat Geo)

1:54 pm 17 January 2021 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

Sze Quak awoke one morning to hear her seven-year-old daughter, Alice, singing alone in her bedroom. “She made up a song about wanting the coronavirus to be gone soon and wanting to go back to school,” Quak says. An only child, Alice has been confined in their Fullerton, California, home attending virtual classes since March. “Before COVID-19, she didn’t really want to go to school. Now, she’s begging to go back.”

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Name it to tame it: How labelling emotions helps kids manage them

1:19 pm 16 January 2021 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

If you’re a parent, then you have no doubt witnessed some BIG emotions in your children. And a lot of the time, those big emotions can really leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to respond. But of course, you do want to help your children in these moments, right?! So maybe you try to do or say things to ease their distress.

However, our attempts to help our children are sometimes not very effective, or can even make the situation worse. And that’s because we often attempt to distract them from their emotions, or try to convince them that things are not so bad. And while this is well intentioned, it can be experienced by our children as dismissive and invalidating. Do any of these sound familiar?

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nature and wellbeing; 5 mindfulness-based activities for teens to reconnect with nature this winter season

7:44 am 16 January 2021 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

Shortened cold, gray and damp days are hardly elements that motivate us to get outside, right?  When I talk with teens in my office about spending time in nature, particularly in the winter months, the conversation quickly shifts to avoiding the cold and waiting until Spring when things warm up and everything starts to brighten and bloom again.  

I get it. We’re more inclined to associate winter as a time for solitude and it's important to make time for rest, but the reality is when we allow the conditions of each season to control our relationship with the natural world, our preferences may result in waiting out the “uncomfortable” for the more “comfortable”  and before we know it, we can end up spending days, even months stuck inside.

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How and why to write a family mission statement

1:22 pm 9 January 2021 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

Fostering a sense of belonging in a family is an important part of cultivating a positive family culture. It is vital for our children that our homes are a space where they feel safe, connected, loved and accepted unconditionally.

Children need to feel they belong. And they need to feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves – something important, and special. It is this sense of belonging that builds resilience in our children. It helps them develop healthy self esteem and self identity and gives them the confidence they need to manage challenges, to solve problems and to ask for help when they need it.

But a positive family culture doesn’t just happen on its own. Building a healthy, loving home – and family – requires intentionality. It requires us as parents to set clear guidelines – a pathway for us and our children based on our own big vision for what we want our family to look and feel like. And a great way to do this is by creating a family mission statement.

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How to Stop Negative Emotions From Spreading Like COVID-19 (Psychology Today)

1:44 pm 5 January 2021 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

During pandemics, personal choices determine whether we contain or spread the virus. Our decisions also govern something even more contagious—our emotions. When they’re out of control, one person’s irritability can poison the whole family’s happiness. But, if we understand and harness transmissible emotions, they can (like a vaccine) protect family wellbeing.

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Certified online mindfulness training for Childcare Teachers

9:47 pm 5 November 2020 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

Become a mindfulness teacher through our certified 8 week online training for Childcare Teachers.

Certified online mindfulness training for Childcare Teachers course

Who is the course for:

  • This certified online mindfulness training for Childcare Teachers has been created specifically for Childcare educators. There is no prerequisite for this course. Anyone working in the childcare industry is welcome to enrol in the course to become an Internationally Accredited Mindfulness For Children Teacher. Additionally, students can join our private Facebook community for ongoing support and networking.

Learning objective:

  • Understand and practice the four foundations of mindfulness.
  • Gain a psychological understanding of ways of improving wellbeing within yourself and others.
  • Conceptualise the connection between mindfulness and the early years learning frameworks (EYLF).
  • Learn how to create your own mindfulness and meditation exercises.
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Helping one of my own children overcome anxiety.

9:41 pm 5 November 2020 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

Helping one of my own children overcome anxiety was one of the reason I decided to begin teaching others how to teach and learn mindfulness.

My fifth child was delivered via caesarean. After over 10 hours of labour I was rushed into an emergency caesarean due to complications.  When he was born he was left with his father for hours, while I was in recovery. And I was told later, that no one could comfort him. So, his entry into this world was followed by hours of uncontrollable crying and stress. This triggered strong anxiety within him, that would last for another 5 or so years.

When we finally met he clung to me like a little koala. If fact, I nick named him Koaly. He literally spent most of this time attached to me in a baby joborn. Even when I was reading or working around the house, he was attached, which really helped him feel secure, content and happy. And he was a very happy baby, always smiling and laughing…as long as I was right there. But, still his anxiety would get the better of him at times. And sadly, the little darling suffered from hallucinations whenever he had a high fever (under the influence of the drug Nurofen) and would literally see scary figures and experience walls moving and unfortunately we didn’t know this was happening until he was old enough to speak. Fortunately, he wasn’t sick too often and he rarely allowed us to administer drugs to control his fever. By age three he never took Nurofen again!

Even almost 3 years of breast feeding and having him always with me, didn’t relieve him of his anxiety. As he grew, I noticed he was very shy around others and would become anxious quiet easily. So when he was ready to start school at age 5, I enrolled him in the local Montessori school, just to ensure his social and emotional development was going to continue to be developed in a nurturing environment. It was wonderful to be able to only need to leave him for 3 hours a day, until he was ready to stay longer.

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Free Mindfulness For Children Exercise

9:56 pm 4 November 2020 Jose Fernandez 0 Comments

A free mindfulness for children exercise created by Elizabeth Mulhane

An exercise in mindfulness of feelings, thoughts and mental objects for young children

This free mindfulness for children exercise focuses on mindfulness of feelings, thoughts and mental objects – for young children and is best delivered, after you yourself have experienced it. So, before teaching this to the children please take the time to do the exercise yourself. When we teach from ‘insight’ we teach from a place of true knowledge and understanding.

When you look at this picture – where do you ‘feel’ your emotions and sensations?

For me, I feel emotion within my face the strongest (even within my eyes) . Then I notice the sensations flowing down my throat and into my stomach. And I feel sensations traveling through my arms and into my hands.

What automatic thoughts pop into your head?

For me, it’s things like ‘Awwwwww, way too cute’ and ‘one day you will be mine’

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