Parenting today has become more and more difficult because of the changes and complexities brought about by the modern world. Before, mothers would stay at home to take care of their children. Today, both parents are working. As a result of this, a lot of parents find less time to spend with their children. You might experience such difficulty too. However, you must not forget that a child’s growing up years are very crucial as to the formation of their character and the betterment of their future. Kids have to be guided as to what they want in life and what is best for them. They have to know how to set their goals and figure out how to reach them. At the same time, passion is a character that you would want to develop once you find it for your kids since it is a source of interest and excitement. To make your life a little more convenient, here is a list of ways that you can try in order to help your kids set goals and find their passion.
- Enroll your kids in summer programs. A lot of programs are being offered in almost every community. This can vary from swimming, voice lessons, ballet, jazz, basketball, tennis, piano lessons, and a lot more. Make your kids try several programs and ask them which one they like best.
- Encourage your kids to own a diary or journal. Let them write down what they feel like doing, or what they enjoy doing. After some time, let them read it again. If they still feel the same way about it, then you should let them give it a try.
- Observe your child’s personality and traits so that you will have ideas on how to help your child set goals and find their passion. Be mindful of your child’s interests, hobbies, dislikes.
- Encourage your child to try new things. Allow them to explore and go out of their comfort zones. Do not be too strict on letting them try things they’ve never tried before.
- Put a small bulletin board at home. Schedule your child’s activities and get them involved in the schedule-making. Also allow them to post sticky notes on the bulletin board where they can write the things they need to achieve for the week or day.
- Teach your child to make a to-do list. A to-do list will help kids know what their goals are what steps they need to take in order to achieve those goals. Also, there is always a sense of satisfaction at being able to tick off some things on a to-do list.
- Ask for your child’s opinion whenever appropriate. Allow your child to engage in conversation with you. Hear them out and listen to what they have to say. They might make more sense than adults.
- Create mind maps. If you and your kids are of the creative type, a mind map is perfect. This sets out the visual map of the goals, the things needed to be done, and the ways in which to achieve the goals.
- Seeing new places and experiencing new cultures is one of the best ways of exposing your child to the things that the world has to offer, and it could help them discover their passion.
- Watch theater shows. Your kids might want to act, sing, dance, or join the theater. Watching shows with them could be one of the ways to expose them to art and help them find out that they are interested in it.
- Bond with them. Nothing beats spending time with your children without thinking about other things. You get to give them 100% of your attention and understanding. You will get to know them better.
- Support your child in school activities. You will get to see how your child is as a student, a classmate, and a friend. Being active in their activities in school will allow you to discover and understand an entirely different side of your child.
- Do vision boarding with your child to help them set goals. It can help your child identify their vision in life and keep their attention on their intentions. It could also help them figure out the step by step process of achieving their goals.
- Leave room for mistakes. When you let kids do something and support them in their endeavors, do not make them feel like everything has to be perfect. Always make them understand that there is always room for improvement.
- Do a synthesis after your child achieves or fails at something. A synthesis is where you will explain to them that when they achieve something, they need to stay humble and work even better and that when they fail, it’s not the end of the world. There’s always a chance to try again.
- Give your child household responsibility. An example would be making breakfast or helping in gardening. This will help them hone their work ethics which they will need later on in working their way towards achieving their goals.
- Encourage your child to read books of different kinds. Reading books does not only improve your child’s language proficiency skills, it also exposes them to different things without having to go out and spending too much.
- Do a reality check from time to time. Help your child stay on track, talk to them about their goals, which ones they have achieved, are about to achieve, and need more time to be achieved. Make them understand that when one goal is not reached, they do not fret and move on and work on the other goals.
- Guide your child think of a fun goal that they could achieve within a short period of time. Starting small is the key to doing bigger things later on. They will feel a sense of fulfillment after achieving this. Afterwards, setting bigger goals will not be so scary anymore.
- Set deadlines when you assign them housework. Teach them to be diligent and punctual.
- Provide your child with incentives or rewards achievements. Note, however, that this must be done only in moderation or occasionally. This will motivate kids to work and boost their confidence to achieve their goals.
- Do not always serve as the safety net for your kids. Allow them to fall, fail, and make mistakes. This is the best way for them to learn. If you allow them to rely on you all the time, they will not be able to grow and mature.
- Be part of the learning process. Always be there every step of the way. Proper guidance is one of the essential elements in a child’s formation years. Make sure they do not fall off their horse.
- Let them choose a role model. People have the capacity to inspire others. Role models could serve as motivation for your kids to work harder and achieve their goals.
- Once they discover their passion, support them. Do not doubt their capabilities. Believe in them more than they can ever believe in themselves.
- Let them practice. When they know what they want to do, give them room to practice and improve. If they love cooking, give them the freedom to work in the kitchen. If they want to paint, transform your attic into an art room where they can paint peacefully.
- Educate them about the realities of life. Share with them actual life experiences that they can learn from. Expose them to the realities that surround them.
- Set a working schedule for them every day. Start with breakfast, school, snacks after class, play time, dinner, then study time. This will teach them how to properly manage their time.
- Balance their exposure to technology, television, internet on the one hand, and nature, animals, outdoor activities on the other hand. Watching too much TV or surfing the internet too much will hinder your child’s growth. Always let them run free and smell the grass and feel the wind touch their face. This will help in their full development.
- Educate your kids on how to handle their emotions. They have to be emotionally intelligent in order to achieve great things in life.
Kids can discover their passion and they can set goals while playing games using phone or laptops and more by using some of its apps. Here are apps that can help your child discover their passion:
- Kids academy– this app can help your child hone his or her learning skills in school, one of the most important things in order to do good.
- Cooking mama– this can help your child discover their cooking skills or their passion or interest for cooking.
- Dream house design– this app allows your child to design houses. If design or architecture is your child’s passion, this could be the perfect app.
- Sports apps like NBA 2K– This can help your child discover his or her passion for sports. Maybe your child would want to give sports a try after this.
- Curious- the game of lifelong learning– This app can help your child get daily workout lessons, puzzles. And many more. Most of the activities are brain exercises. Therefore, it could help in developing your child’s mental capacity and ability to achieve something in the future.
Here are the links for further reading:
It is important that your child’s room is comfortable and relaxing because that is where he comes home to. After classes, he comes home and spends the rest of the day there. He may experience stress and worries in school, and one of the best ways to help him manage the stress is through making his private space a calming and relaxing place. He would look forward to coming home if this were the case.
Peacefulness and peace of mind are two of the best and most important things you can offer your child. In his bedroom, he will feel that he will not be bothered by all that is happening around him and by the chaos happening in the world. When he is able to obtain peace of mind, of course with the help of his room, he becomes a more discerning person. He also stops searching for happiness, a fleeting feeling. Instead, he becomes at peace with his life and himself.
- Choose pastel colors like cream, light pink, light green, sky blue. If you want to go for more neutral colors, the best choices are the earthy colors like gray. These colors are simple and less complex. They are also more pleasing to the eyes. Research has it that these also make you feel more relaxing. This means that when the kid’s room is painted with these colors, your child is most likely to feel relaxed in his room. He would look forward to spending time in his room, and sleeping on his own will not be a problem anymore.
- One place for toys. Buy big bins where you can place your kid’s toys. This is one of the ways to stay organized. It would also cause less stress for kids to stay in a place where the things are tidy and clean. Teach them to clean after their mess when playing with their toys. This will also teach them to be responsible for the mess they create and organize their things.
- Put a lamp or a nightstand. Not only will this make the room more aesthetic, but this will also give a more relaxing atmosphere. If your child does not need brighter lights, he may opt to turn on his lamp. If he also does not use a night light, he could use the lamp when going to sleep. When he wants to have some time for himself, he can just lay in bed with the lamp on and enjoy his being alone.
- Put a bean bag. Have one nook in his room where he can just chill and relax. Putting a bean bag will allow him to enjoy reading or doing nothing while sitting comfortably in one corner of his room. For best results, the bean bag may be put side by side with a bookshelf. That way, he could just grab a book and read while sitting on the bean bag. It is best to choose the color which matches the rest of the room, so that the variety of colors do not become too overwhelming.
- Place softness at your feet. Parquet is the safest choice. You may also want to use any massive wooden flooring. White, greyish or any light coloured parquets are best recommended since earthy colors are best for relaxation, but you can also choose coloured parquet so long as it matches the rest of the room. Resin floor finishing is also one of your options. It can also be comfortable for a modern or loft atmosphere. Wool carpets, on the other hand, provide a real sense of comfort but require a higher level of maintenance. When you choose a carpet, you may refine your zen décor and provide a cocooning sensation of the room by associating several carpets made of wool or pure cotton.
- Choose natural and light fabrics. Fabrics should stick be natural, light and comfortable. One of the essential elements of your zen décor are the curtains which provide a sense of intimacy. More than that, however, these curtains are responsible for reducing noise and blocking air draughts. It is also best to match the colors of the fabrics with the rest of the room. You may also use blinds to modulate light in order to obtain a different ambiance and atmosphere.
- Minimalist mentality. Simplicity is best. Keep wall decorations at a minimum. Collections of paintings or photos or wallpapers may be too overwhelming. The trend today is minimalism, and it contributes to the room’s more relaxing ambiance.
- Put green plants. Plants have a calming effect through their soothing green colors and by providing oxygen. Research has it that when a child experiences stress or difficulty in his homework, he is supposed to take a 5-minute break and look at something green. This means that having green plants in his room could contribute to stress management. However, avoid flowers which need special maintenance or may emanate disturbing scents. Bonsai trees or hanging terrariums are a good choice and are often included in zen décor.
- Make sure the room has big windows. Nothing beats a breath of fresh air. Fresh air has countless benefits, including boosting your brainpower, making you feel more relaxed, improving your overall health, and helping you feel refreshed. If the room does not have any windows or ceiling fans, bring in a standing fan that also functions as an air purifier. Choose one that has ‘quiet’ technology, so that it does not interfere with your serene sounds.
- Keep furniture simple. Zen style furniture is characterized by simple and clear lines. It avoids complicated detail and excess ornamentation. It would be best for the furniture to be made of natural materials as these bring a sense of warmth and relaxation. Storage pieces such as closets, cupboards, and drawers may be painted in colors that match the rest of the interior. For best results, place the bed near the source of a natural light and away from the door or passage area.
Here are the Art Projects you can teach kids:
- Drawing with Scissors: Kids could use paper cut outs or pictures from magazines and newspapers to make a collage representing their emotions. They are not bound to cut out exact and specific shapes. Allow them to explore any shape which they think best represents what they feel at that moment. Although usually, the artwork that comes out is a little abstract, it gives kids an outlet whenever they feel something but cannot determine their feelings or cannot talk about it.
- DIY Treasure Box: This project lets kids make their own treasure box where they could put letters, trinkets, and other memorabilia. Not only will this save parents money, but this will also teach kids to recycle paper and other materials, and at the same time be appreciative of the things they receive in life.
- Hand painted bookmarks: Kids can create their own bookmarks and put a quote about friendship, love, charity, or kindness. They can use colored paint or oil paint.
- Van Gogh Style Finger Paint: This is one of the best ways to get kids to make beautiful artworks. It allows them to explore their imagination and exceed its limits. While painting, they are to take note of their internal feelings and emotions, and find a way to incorporate these into their works.
- Calm Down Sandwiches: Here, kids will have to write down the things they must do in order to calm themselves in tomato, lettuce, and patty cutouts. Mostly, this activity is for kids who have anger management and temperament issues.
- Flash Cards: In this activity, kids are to draw or cut out images from recycled magazines which best represent each of the most basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, disappointment, fear. Then, kids can use these cards to label what they are feeling at the moment. Parents can also use these in order to test their kids and determine whether or not their kids know how to label certain basic emotions.
- Relaxation Flip Books: Kids are to cut out small pieces of paper, enough to for it to fit in their pockets. Then, they will cut out images that will represent activities that they will do in order to manage their emotions especially anger or disappointment. Then, these cut outs will be laminated. Punch a hole on the corner of each card, and slide each picture onto a small key ring. This makes for a relaxation flipbook.
- Dotty Painting: This art project is accomplished by painting an image using only dots. This is one of the ways kids can explore their imagination and maximize their resources. Being able to make an artwork by having only limited means to do it, kids will understand patience and perseverance.
- Play Dough: Clay is a kid’s best friend. Note, however, that this is not recommended for children below 2 years old. Kids are encouraged to form shapes or create things out of clay that would best represent what they feel. This is a relatively simpler task because they can change their works any time. So, kids can start off by forming things that represent negative feelings such as anger, being upset, disappointment. Then, after a couple of relaxation exercises, they shall re-form their clay into things that represent the feelings that have just emerged. If there are changes, then it means that the relaxation exercises work.
- Paper Maché: Using old newspaper, kids may make paper machés. It could be of any theme. They could make paper machés of things that best symbolize their mother, or their relationship with their pets, or their friends. They could use as inspiration their relationships with the people they love the most, their goals in life, their dreams and ambitions, and their predominant emotions every time they are with the people that they love.
- Sunflower Painting: Another activity which will generate empathy and happiness is painting sunflowers. Research has it that sunflowers are one of the most powerful images when it comes to bringing brightness to a room or making a person feel better. These sunflower paintings could be hung in the kids’ rooms so that when they feel like they are not having a good day, the sunflower painting will work its magic and make them feel better.
- Scrapbook: This is a classic art project. Almost all students had to go through making this not only for the completion of their school requirements, but also for purposes of remembrance. Kids enjoy making scrapbooks especially because good memories come rushing back to them while making it. They can use different crafty materials and draw with different art materials. They can also paste pictures, letters, and other memorabilia. Years from now, when they find the scrapbook and scan through it again, they will smile and remember the good times they had during their childhood.
- Poster paints: This activity could be broad. Kids are allowed to explore and be creative. They can expand their imagination and make whatever makes them happy. They can do an artwork that would best represent themselves or their personalities. Then, these poster paints could be hung somewhere in their houses.
- DIY Thank You Cards: This is most appropriate whenever there are celebrations such as birthdays, christenings, and weddings. Let kids participate in the celebration by asking them to make DIY thank you cards. This way, the gratitude would be more genuine. They will also better understand how important it is to be grateful for people who love them and are there for them. More than that, this is a chance for them to know what it means to value these people and their relationships.
- Build your Lego: Although at the outset this does not appear as an art project, it could still be argued that such is art because it could be used to express one’s self and to be creative. Legos are one of the best toys every kid could ever have. Sometimes, they compete on who builds better Lego blocks. Indeed, building Legos could be art. In this activity, kids are free to use Lego blocks to build anything that could best represent what their home makes them feel.
Building confidence for kids is so important. Once a child has lost his confidence and self-esteem, rebuilding it can be a tricky task. You want to allow it to come naturally and foster the growth of their new self-image, not force it upon them. You’ve to tow the line, moving only when needed, and never pushing or prodding too hard. If you do, the results could be catastrophic as he feels like he has to have you nearby to function.
One strategy you can use is positive reinforcement. This is a very simple strategy: when something good happens in their life, as a result of his actions, make sure they know that they caused it. Reward them: pizza, ice cream, or let him stay up late one night but even better is to try to use intrinsic rewards such as helping your child to note their feelings of success. The connection you’re trying to foster is that good thing can happen because he wants them to: you aren’t making them happen as a parent, he is.
Strategy to use
Another strategy you may use to build confidence for kids is conversing with your child and making sure they know that bad things don’t always happen because they deserve it. You can reinforce this with affirmations: you want your child to know that, although they may be going through difficult times, they aren’t worthless or any less of a person because they’re going through difficulties.
You should never laugh at their ideas, no matter how crazy seem to be. Like adults, kids want to be taken seriously. When they get the sense they’re being mocked, their instinct is to get angry, shut down, and not share more ideas for fear of more of the same treatment. After all, kids naturally see the world through a different lens than we do. You might be surprised what you hear once you show your child that you’re listening and that you take their ideas seriously.
You can also try putting them in unfamiliar social conditions. The only way to establish a level of comfort is to first experience discomfort. Also, you can boost their confidence by having them learn to play a musical instrument. Playing an instrument yields too many positive results for it to be ignored. Once they’ve reached an age where they’re dextrally and mentally capable, learning to play an instrument not only relieves stress but it can also boost self-esteem in a major way.
Let them help you in the kitchen. Yes, most kids are far more interested in the eating rather than the preparing of foods, but you’ll be surprised by how much one experience can turn things around. Moreover, you should make it a point to celebrate their achievements and success. I’m not talking about giving them a gold star every time they eat a carrot. It is even more important to show children that extra effort will yield benefits in order to instill the idea within them that they’re capable of greatness and that hard work pays dividends.
You can actually learn something from your child by having him or her teach you something. Let your kid teach you something. This will help build his or her confidence. A beginner’s card trick, a scale on the piano, or anything that positions them as the subject matter expert will work. Encourage them to share their knowledge (without bragging) with you and others. Odds are they’ll be brimming with confidence with their head held high.
Be a role model to your kids. Show confidence in your actions. This one seems intuitive, but often gets overlooked. Whether you know it or not, you are your child’s most pronounced role model. So, how can you expect your kids to have confidence when you are the ones they look up to and you don’t even have it?
Make your kids talk about their problems. If you have a 7-year-old who recently started throwing a fit every time you make eye contact with her, odds are it’s for a reason. The easy, instinctive thing to do is to punish her and be done with it. The more forward-thinking approach also includes sitting down afterward to talk and figuring out the exact reason for the anger.
Give your kids the opportunity to grow by allowing them to fail. While success is pretty easy to deal with, learning to cope with failure is no easy task, especially when you’re not used to it. In order to get used to it, you simply have to experience it, time and time again.Let your kids experience failure when they’re attempting to build Legos or attempting to ride a bike without training wheels. It may anger them at first but it will help them later on in life by giving them the confidence they need.
The most effective method for rebuilding confidence though, is to foster creativity: when your child looks at something they’ve created, they feel an intense surge of pride. Nothing can build a new self image as quickly as a creative burst by your child: this is true no matter the form of expression, be it art, drawing, or writing. You want to be there for your child, showing them what they create reflected in your emotions. Don’t demean them, though: if they want to improve, help them improve. Show them the way to get better at their new hobby.
No matter the method you choose, you must remember that your child comes first. What they want, their hopes and dreams, are what you must reinforce: show them that their thought, their opinion matters. There’s no way to build self-confidence without doing that; unless they create it for themselves, you can’t force them to have self-worth or self-esteem. You must be there to foster their growth, but not to shove and prod them into situations they don’t choose. With that in mind, you can do your best to help improve your child’s confidence.
Kids moving and living across cultures, countries and continents have some pretty impressive opportunities. They learn to adapt, interact and work effectively in a wide range of situations. They have unique insight into the world and learn to question, develop creative solutions and communicate in a variety of styles, with far greater understanding. Moving allows for tremendous personal and emotional growth. Remember, emotional baggage can take up as much weight and room as physical baggage. The feelings that you all are experiencing will affect your attitude, behavior and success in your new environment, so it’s important to give them the same time, importance and respect that you give to the more quantifiable components of the move. However, your child may find it difficult to adjust to his or her new home abroad. Here are some ways to help your child cope up.
- Let your kid say “good” goodbyes. It’s critical to acknowledge that your relationship with those you are leaving is about to change. Say goodbye in person, in a call or in card, but treat it with the care and respect that you view the person you are saying goodbye to. In a world of Skype, email and social media, it’s tempting to make goodbyes casual. Resist the temptation!
- Have a family connection in place. One of the common themes running through advice from everyone from teachers, and school counselors to young adult mentors and psychologists is the need for family communication to be in place.
- Let your kid accept the emotions change and that process takes time. Tell your child that even though it is unpredictable, he or she should still try and prepare for it. Give space, time, and support to your kid.
- Tell your kid that everyone goes through the process but in a slightly different time and in a slightly different way. The best way to deal with emotional stress due to living abroad is to keep on talking about your kid’s activities in school or has he made any friends in school, etc.
- Always remind your kid to inform you if he or she thinks something is wrong. Advise your kid that he or she should inform you when he or she is not feeling well, when he or she hasn’t made any friends yet, and when eating, sleeping, drinking and socialising patterns have changed. You should observe if your kid has become more agitated or withdrawn or when your kid’s behaviour regresses.
- Encourage your kid to make new friends in school. Let your kid find someone to talk to who understands what he or she is going through. Let your kid attend newcomer meetings in school if there is any. Talking to a neutral but friendly person will help your child gain some new perspective that life abroad isn’t as bad as he or she thought. Other expat-kids will surely understand your child’s situation.
- Tell your kid to “get out there”. Let your kid connect with things he or she has done back home such as playing sports, enrolling in different classes, and many more.
- Play “Your Move” with your kid. This conversation-stimulating card game helps families with children ages 6-18, and those that work with them, talk about and plan for their move. It uses key prompts and insights such as “Who in your family, do you think was most excited about moving?” This game can help your family talk about the ups and downs of moving abroad.
- Place a calendar on your kid’s room. The calendar should be a sticker-based calendar for 3 – 10 year olds that answers each ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ of moving, using entertaining and easily understood moving-related pictures. Also provides a great visual memento of your child’s move.
- Give your kid an journal where he or she can write down his experiences living abroad. This fun keepsake journal guides young children ages 3 – 7 through relocation to a new neighborhood, school and home. You can add your own pictures to create the a truly personal record of the move.
- During your first few weeks, explore the place like a tourist. After doing so, you can then be an expat. Go to the tourist destinations with your kid to get a feel of the country’s culture and history. Let your kid feel that it’s just like a vacation. Then, you can begin living like an expat.
- Let your kid send gifts back home to your family and friends. Consider giving gifts from your new country and sending them back home. This will give your days a fun purpose. Also, it will keep you connected to those who are important to you.
- Invite your family or your kid’s friends to come visit. There’s nothing wrong with trying to convince some friends to come visit. See if any of your friends can come for a short vacation and get to know the country you’re now living in.
- Help your kid make a bucket list for exploring the place. Do some research about where you’re living and find new places to explore with your kid.
- Go out for a jog with your kid regularly. Jogging helps release feel-good hormones. This will help combat your kid’s emotional stress.
- Encourage your kid to schedule some “me” time. 30 minutes of pure alone time in a calming environment can greatly help your kid to focus and meditate. Your kid can do this in an empty room in the house.
- Let your kid learn something new. Learning can help your kid keep his or her mind active. Aside from that, he or she will slowly forget about missing his old home.
- Tell your kid to work on positive thinking. Homesickness, like most anxiety, is prone to negative thinking, such as “I feel like I stand out here.” Let your kid learn how to think positively. Your kid should write only positive thoughts in something like a journal, and look for ways to spin the negative thoughts, such as “I am going to find new ways to make sure I feel like I fit in.”
Use these ten techniques to improve your skills in this area.
- Don’t lose touch with how you feel! Notice your emotional triggers and how you react to them. It is important to think before you say. Remember that the words that you let go can never be taken back. Your words can have an impact on other people. You should always keep your emotions in check since you do not want to end up saying some things you did not actually mean. If you observe how your emotions trigger and how you react to them you will be able to control your reactions over time. Doing so will surely help you in your everyday life at home, work, or any other place where you converse or socialize with other people.
- Listen to your body. Your body will tell you if you are sad, angry, or upset. Learn how to listen when your body talks. It is important to listen to your body because your body can tell you a lot of things. Your body language says a lot about you. If you listen to your body, you will be able to learn how to control your actions. For example, when your body is telling you that you are sad, you will be able to act on it in order to resolve the issue. You will do a few things which will get rid of your sadness such as getting an ice cream or whatever floats your boat.
- Honesty is best. You should not lie to yourself. It is easy to do when you don’t want to deal with something. Believe it or not, everyone else has the same feeling as you do. Don’t be afraid to show them. Lying will get you nowhere. At times, lying can lead you to dark, cold places. It is important to keep healthy relationships founded on honesty and trust. Talking honestly with others can definitely do a lot of good to your relationships.
- Know who you are. If you have to, make a list of your good and bad points. It let’s you handle your emotions better if you know how you feel about things. Get a piece of paper and draw a line in the center. Put on left your good points. To the right, your bad points. Be honest to yourself. Write everything that you can think of. By doing so, you can assess your character or what kind of person you are. From there, you can make the necessary changes. If you think you are bad person, then it is about time to do something about it.
- Learn body language. The whole body can communicate whether you want it to or not. If you are good, you can read anyone’s body language. And eye brow lift may be an eye brow lift to some but it can also mean “I don’t believe you”. The more you can read other’s body language the better you can use your body language to communicate your feeling to them. When there are no words to speak, it is the body which does the talking. As I have mentioned earlier, listening to your body is of paramount consideration. To achieve this, learn how to read body language. This will surely help you in your professional dealings in the future.
- Start small. If you are not used to expressing your emotions, then practice a few of them at a time until you are more comfortable with showing them. Standing in front of a mirror helps. Showing your feelings helps you to communicate with other whether they are negative or positive emotions. The more you practice the better you will be. Remember the old saying practice makes perfect.
- Don’t hold them in! Let your emotion go, holding them in leads to health issues you don’t want to have. You can suffer from a heart attack, breathing issues, rashes, hives, and other unpleasant problems. Letting your emotions out at the time they happen is better for your mental and physical health. If you hold too much emotions inside, you might find yourself bursting any time soon. It is not healthy. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to talk to a friend about your problems. Talking relieves you of the unwanted stress. It helps when you have someone to talk and share your concerns.
- Write it out. Sometimes it is helpful to make a feeling journal and vent your feelings in a written manner. It is good to periodically review this journal and see if there is a pattern emerging. This is a very healthy outlet of your feelings. Creative art work, writing poems, and songs also allow you to be able to express your feelings in a healthy manner. These are healthy outlets to feelings and that is why children suffering from depression receive play therapy which gives them an outlet to express their feelings through symbolic play. Story writing, storytelling are also very healthy and useful therapeutic tools which facilitate expression of feelings in an indirect and subtle manner
- Stop numbing your emotions. It is difficult to identify what you are feeling if you are using food, other substances or activities to numb your feelings. These activities can include self-harm, being too busy and unavailable, excessive and compulsive shopping, obsessing, or excessive exercise.Avoid numbing your emotions even if you are able to do so just long enough to recognize the feeling. If you are having a strong urge to engage in some numbing activity, consider what emotion you might be having.
- Identify your “little and unimportant hurts”. More people walk around saying it’s not important or it doesn’t matter when it is very important and a big piece of hurting emotion is buried within them. They will describe this hurt and being small and unimportant. Men tend to do this rather frequently. Write down a detailed description of all the “little and unimportant hurts” that somehow don’t go away.
Anxiety, Relaxation & Mindfulness Apps for Kids
- Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame: this app is for kids of all ages. This is a helpful and educational app that you can let your students use when they are struggling with a particular problem. There is also a parent’s section, so you can use the app along with your students and guide them through the process.
- Settle Your Glitter: this is an effective emotional-regulation tool for kids. It allows them to note down their feelings and emotions and focus on their breathing. This is best for kids who struggle with hyperactivity or impulsivity.
- Mandala Memory: this is a card-flipping game which is appropriate for kids of all ages. The challenge is that the patterns look a lot like each other, which means that more focus and attention are needed in order to correctly match the cards.
- Super Stretch Yoga: it offers a kid-friendly guide to 12 different yoga poses. Each pose is introduced by a short animation and a live video of kids attempting to replicate the pose. Your students can even take pictures of themselves doing the poses and these pictures are automatically saved on your phone. Yoga is one of the most common ways to practice mindfulness, and with this app, your students can start this way of life at a young age.
- Breathing bubbles: this app is an emotional-regulation tool that helps kids release the tension and worries and focus on happy thoughts. This is most apt for kids who are going through a stressful situation or for kids who do not know how to label his emotions. The app lets kids name the emotion, determine its intensity, and then focus on a digital bubble that contains a user-created worry or joy.
- DreamyKid: the app includes kid-friendly guided visualizations, affirmations and meditations. Kids can listen to music that help in relaxation and falling asleep, and even focusing for school.
- Scape: it is an innovative app that makes ambient music by combining shapes, colors, textures, and backgrounds into a visual palette. Each shape contains musical elements designed to behave differently depending on where and when they are used. It allows your students to explore relationships between visual and sonic elements and experience tranquil and meditative listening moments.
- Ameka Love: Journey to Crystal Mountain: it is a storybook about a little girl on an adventure. The girl is in search for magical stones, dragons, and practices meditation. Its main lesson is for kids to be independent and for them to develop their self-management skills.
- 5 Minute Escapes: it is a simple app with visuals and relaxing music. You could use this during the first 5 minutes of your class just so you could keep your students focused throughout the rest of the class.
- Stop, Breathe, and Think: it is one of the most interactive meditation apps. Kids can earn stickers just by using the apps more frequently. This is more appropriate for young teens.
- Smiling Mind: it is an app for kids who often experience anxiety or stress. The app offers psychologist-developed mindfulness meditation activities. Each session starts with a few questions that will help the kids focus and bring their attention to the activity. The steps of meditation are simple and easy to follow. Consistent use could benefit the kids to the extent that they will be more focused in school.
- My First Yoga: this app is mostly for little ones and them being introduced to this activity called yoga. The colorful visual aids are for purposes of getting the attention of those who are quick to look for other things to do. The poses taught are also animal-inspired, which makes it more appealing to kids.
- Relax Melodies: this app is a relaxation aid at best. It allows kids to create personal mixes from a rich sound library. They can use this during their study sessions so they could stay focused.
- Headspace: one of the first meditation apps that were released in the market. It uses cartoon videos to teach the process of meditation. It also has a special feature which focuses only on meditation on targeted areas such as sports and health. It also has a buddy system feature so that two kids can work together.
- Calm: it offers new meditation every day and has 7-21 day meditation programs such as “7 Days of Focus”. Kids also have the option to listen to calming sounds such as the ocean and the waves.
- HelloMind: it is an app that can change negative thought patterns. Kids can choose treatment which they think is best for whatever it is that is bothering them at that moment such as cowardice, fear, and low self-esteem. This app is also good for worriers.
- Drift Away: players continually swipe their finger on the screen, pushing the bubble where they want it to go. The challenge is to avoid the obstacle course designed in the app such as waterfalls, tree branches, and bugs. The bubbles could pop, and this is what the players need to avoid. It includes soothing background music. The app is meant to help kids relax and free their minds from worries.
- Well beyond Meditation for Kids: it has five guided meditation processes, each process lasting only for a few minutes. Its visual aids, kid-friendly art and language, help the kids gain focus and attention.
- IF… The Emotional IQ Game: the best thing about this app is its ability to develop a child’s emotional intelligence, one of the most important aspects of a child’s life that needs a lot of guidance. The player engages in a quest which will help develop self-awareness and self-management skills. It also teaches kids about being helpful, grateful, and kind. It teaches them how to be wise and street-smart. More than that, it helps in the regulation of fear.
- Fitivity: this has yoga introductory lessons. It teaches kids to calm themselves and find their center. For it to be more effective, it has to be done every day. You can use this app at the start or end of your class every day.
Several companies experience a decline in the number of employees nowadays because of mental issues. Many workers undergo stress and become mentally unfit to work and be productive. The good news, however, is that you can stop this from happening in your company through activities that improve the mindfulness of your employees. Improve the well-being of your employees and make them more efficient by teaching them how to be mindful.
- Weekly meditation exercises: give your employees some time once a week to do nothing, think nothing, and just meditate. When there’s clarity of mind, a person can do greater things. Managing mental health issues through meditation would increase productivity and reduce the necessity to take times off from work.
- Start your meetings with a mindful minute: allow yourself and your employees to have 60 seconds to pay attention to their breathing, to the sounds that surround them, or to their heartbeat. Let them gain focus so that they can prepare for what is to be discussed during the meeting. This will make them become more mindful of the people around them, the reason for the meeting, and the issue to be taken up. You can also adopt other similar activities.
- Provide access to resources: Reserve a space in your office where employees could take some time off and relax within the day. Allow them to lounge there and engage in conversations with other people. Give them time to breathe. Also give free lunches every once in a while. The more you make your employees feel valuable, the more mindful they are of their significance and role in your company.
- Conduct seminars about mindfulness: invite speakers to talk about mindfulness in the workplace. Present to your employees the benefits of being aware of what is happening around them. Research has it that a company could lose millions of dollars because of unmanaged mental health issues of the employees. Yes, you would have to spend money for the seminars, but in the long run, it will help you save more.
- Develop corporate-based mindfulness programs: In whatever you do at work, always make it relatable to real life. Help your employees not only become productive and efficient in the workplace, but also in everything else that they do outside of work. Help them develop habits that will benefit them even when they are not working.
- Encourage creativity: Give your employees room for imagination. Listen to their suggestions because this will make them feel that they are valued in your company. When they are allowed to think and express their thoughts, their perspectives about work will change. They will look forward to working.
- It is okay to do away with routines at times: It is true that each member of a company has his own job description and tasks to finish. However, this does not mean that they have to do everything on a routinary basis. When you allow your employees enough space to do things at their own pace and have a little fun, they will look forward to coming to work every morning. They will feel less stressful and will not end up feeling stuck.
- Team-building activities: the secret to a good workplace would be healthy relationship between you and your employees, and between your employees themselves. Organize activities that will allow everyone to get to know and bond with each other. This will help everyone become mindful of his work ethics and his actions.
- Organize training sessions every month: Affirm your employees that what they are doing is the most efficient way or the most productive means. Help them realize the areas in their work where they can improve. Give them updates as to the new and improved ways of conducting their work. These training sessions will serve as their guide to improving themselves and to shaping their work ethics.
- Form Friday lunch groups: take your employees out to lunch once a week. This will serve as their break from work and they can just interact with their colleagues. When you set a good example of what gratitude is, they will become more mindful of their attitude as well. More than that, when they get to know each other on a more personal level, they will become more accepting of their differences, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Inculcate mindfulness in your corporate values: from day 1, instill in your employees’ minds that one of the most important values your company embraces is mindfulness. That way, they will remember all the time to take this into consideration before they do a certain act.
- Recognize employees’ accomplishments: Do not take all the credit for your employees’ job well done. Acknowledging the efforts they have put in and giving them the credit for the success your company has earned will show them that they have done the right thing. It will also motivate them to do better and work harder.
- Do not use harsh language when reprimanding: The better way to make your employees understand that they did something wrong is to calmly explain to them why it is such and the effects of their mistakes. Give them enough room to correct themselves and learn from the experience.
- Do not throw blames, but provide solutions: When your employees commit a mistake, do not simply keep on blaming them. Teach them ways on how to correct themselves and offer solutions. Give them the chance to implement the solutions themselves and see where they went wrong. Do away with the blaming. It will only cause their self-esteem to shrink and make them feel that they are up to no good.
- Provide a step-by-step process of your company’s goals: develop a habit of doing things one step at a time. This is to ensure that you are not only doing work, but quality work. Give yourselves enough time and space to achieve each step without compromising anything because you are in a rush.
Mindfulness in the workplace has a lot of benefits. It could greatly improve productivity and efficiency, decrease stress, and promote work-life balance.
Mindlessness is the state of being on autopilot. It is a person’s incapacity to be aware of what is happening around him. It is doing things without paying full attention to it. There are times when we do things and not remember how we did them. Some days, we engage into conversations with colleagues only to forget what we talked about hours after. Some days, we eat our meals so mindlessly that we could not even recall what we ate. Sometimes, we are too scared of what is to come that we have the tendency to prepare so much for the future and forget to live in the now. The state of mindlessness—the state of us being on autopilot, hinders us from being present in our own lives. We do what we got to do, we say what we got to say, but we never really pay attention to what is happening around us. Even worse, we never pay attention to what is happening within us.
Mindfulness is the exact opposite of mindlessness. It makes an individual capable of being fully aware of the present. It is the ability of a person to pay attention to his emotions, actions, and surroundings. It is the capacity to be in a disposition where what is given more importance is what is happening at that exact moment. It means being able to prepare for the future without compromising the chance to seize the day. Mindfulness is more than just a habit, it is a way of life. What sets these two state apart and how is one more beneficial than the other?
- More focused. Mindfulness makes a person become more capable of staying focused on the things that he has to accomplish for that day. He knows his goals and he is aware of what he has to do in order to achieve those goals. He is able to ascertain the process he should follow whenever he has to do something, and he is aware of which part of the process he is on. He recognizes his weaknesses and shortcomings, and so he is more capable of focusing on them in order to improve. He is attentive to what is happening around him and within him. As a result, he is able to act accordingly. A mindless person, on the other hand, does what he has to do without really knowing whether or not he is doing the right thing. He could finish his tasks but not really learn from them. He could also deliver what is asked of him, but he has no willingness to check whether or not said work is of quality. The state of being on autopilot is a hindrance to a person’s maximum productivity and efficiency not only in school or at work, but also at home.
- Ability to make sound judgments. A mindful person is more capable of assessing the circumstances he is surrounded with. He pays attention to his actions and its consequences, the internal movements and feelings, and his emotions. He is able to weigh the pros and cons of every decision he ought to make. He could think objectively and critically. Consequently, he is able to make sound judgments. The state of mindlessness, on the other hand, has the danger of developing the habit of making whimsical and arbitrary judgments. When a person is unable to assess and evaluate the circumstances that surround him, he is most likely to commit errors in the decisions that he makes. When he does not know the consequences of his actions or when he chooses to ignore these, he does whatever he wants and not worry about how that will affect other people.
- Ability to handle stressful situations. Yet again, mindfulness helps a person make sound judgments. As a result of this, he is not faltered by the fact that he is under pressure or in a stressful situation. He knows that despite the situation, he has a way out. Because he is able to view the situation in an objective manner and isolate himself to be able to do so, he can see the bigger and clearer picture. Consequently, he provides for solutions in order to address the situation. He does not panic, nor does he become irritable. He is calm and relaxed. He knows how to attack the problem with grace and poise. As opposed to a mindless person, he becomes a peacemaker, problem solver, and leader. Mindlessness only increases anxiety and stress. In a stressful situation, it does more damage than good. It hinders the person from being able to think clearly and calmly, and so he is not able to provide himself with solutions. He becomes irritable and his perception of things is such that everything happens the way they do because he is having “such a bad day” or he is “unlucky”.
- A more positive perspective. Research has it that a mindful person is happier than a mindless person. As opposed to mindlessness, mindfulness is the capacity of a person to be aware of what is happening around him and see all these happenings on a brighter light. A mindful person is more capable of thinking objectively in such a way that when something bad happens to him, he knows that it is part of life and he addresses it. Whereas a mindless person just throws the blame at something or someone. He only thinks that the problem is with the world itself and it has nothing to do with him, that is why it seems easier to get mad. He does not realize that these situations look differently when seen from a different angle or perspective. He is unaware that what he has to do is change his point of view, and everything else will follow.
In summary, mindfulness gives so much more benefits than mindlessness. As abovementioned, it is not just a habit or an act that could be done in whenever desired. It is a way of life. Although it takes a lot of practice, the benefits it reaps make it all worth it.
Some days, we do things without really giving all of our attention and end up forgetting how we did it. There are also moments when we eat our meals and find ourselves looking at an empty plate and wonder how we finished everything without even noticing. We have the tendency to be afraid of what is to come so we end up preparing so much for the future and forget to live life in the present. This is the state of mindlessness—the state of being on autopilot.
Mindfulness is the exact opposite of mindlessness. It is our capacity to be fully aware of the present and of our emotions, actions, and surroundings. It means to be in a disposition where we give more importance to what is happening at present and do not worry too much about what is to happen in the future. It is our eagerness to make the most out of the day, experience many different things, learn from our shortcomings and bounce back. It is our ability to accept our weaknesses and failures, and making good decisions. It is more than just a habit, it is a way of life.
That is why we’ve come to the conclusion that teaching a child mindfulness is more important than teaching him Math. There are certain benefits from being mindful that are far greater than doing good in Math. It is true that Math has certain benefits, but it could also be disadvantageous. First off, being good in Math does not guarantee that the child will also have good performance in other subjects. He might only excel in one subject, and not excel in other subjects such as Science, History, or English. If he is unable to manage his time well and figure out where he is having difficulties, all because he is unaware, then he will have trouble with his other subjects. Mindfulness is supposed to teach him how to be able to assess a situation taking into consideration the surrounding circumstances and then provide a solution.
Second, he might end up focusing more on just Math and neglect his other responsibilities for his other subjects. It might be more difficult for him to balance all his subjects because he knows he is struggling with the others, but not with Math. If he does not know what it means to be mindful, there is the danger of losing grasp of the other subjects and just focus on where he is good at. He will also lose interest in the other subjects because he will think that Math is all that he should care about.
Math only teaches you analytical skills
Third, Math only teaches you analytical skills. True, it is practical and useful even outside of school, but these skills are best maximized with mindfulness. You cannot analyze if you do not know how to make an evaluation or assessment of the current situation. It will also be difficult for you if you cannot provide for a solution simply because you are not aware of the elements necessary to be able to make a decision. Although both require practice, doing math is more mechanical than practicing mindfulness. This means that the act of adding, subtracting, etc. requires you to exercise your brain mechanically to derive an answer. Mindfulness, on the other hand, requires consistency and you will have to give all your energy to become and stay mindful. It requires more brain exercise and even physical and emotional exercise because you are changing your entire lifestyle. You are not doing it only to pass your class or to be able to give your teacher your homework due the next day. Practicing mindfulness means you have to make sure that you are in it for the long run, and not just giving yourself short-term, bondage solutions.
Mindfulness is more useful than Math
To add to that, mindfulness is more useful than Math in such a way that mindfulness must be applied in all that you do in your life. It must always be present for you to be able to make the best decisions and seek better options. It guides you on a daily basis and it serves as your protection from poor decisions and its consequences. As abovementioned, it is a way of life. It changes your mentality, perception, and interpretation of things. It naturally allows you to analyze and criticize using your own sound judgment.
All of these means that teaching a child mindfulness is more important than teaching him Math because the former offers a more holistic formation. In other words, you do not only teach your child how to solve a mathematical problem. You teach him emotional intelligence-how to control and deal with his emotions. You also teach him focus and discipline. You allow him to exercise his brain by thinking of solutions and the best options he has in every single situation. You also instill in him the importance of willpower, that if you want something, all you have to do is work hard for it and you will get it. To put it simply, teaching a child how to be mindful means he ought to change his way of life.