Is your child experiencing anxiety in situations at school or at home? Do you wish you knew how to help?
Would you like to learn simple, safe exercises your daughter or son can use to reduce their anxiety–with your guidance and, ultimately, on their own?
This beginner's course will teach you mindfulness practices–and how to teach those practices to a child.
Join Me in this Course and You'll Learn How to:
- Do basic mindfulness practices yourself (practices for children and one for adults)
- Introduce mindfulness to your child in kid-friendly language
- Teach mindfulness practices to your child
- Bring mindfulness habits into your child's daily life to build on what you learn in the course
- Understand your child's ongoing progress, and choose practises that suit their needs best
How Mindfulness Helps with Anxiety
Anxiety is a natural body signal that something needs your attention. But, it often becomes mixed with troubling thoughts, stressful emotions and physical discomfort. It's a cycle that can worsen over time and begin to limit your activities–no matter how old you are.
Mindfulness can help with all of these mental, emotional and physical parts of an anxious experience. With a bit of time practising mindfulness with you, your child will learn ways to relax their body, and respond to thoughts and emotions in stress-reducing and confidence-building ways.
More and more studies on mindfulness for children are showing how it can reduce anxiety and depression, increase kids' ability to self-regulate emotions, improve mental performance, and increase empathy for others–just to name a few of the wonderful and wide-ranging benefits of mindfulness practise.
Almost any resource you find about "how to cope with anxiety" will recommend mindfulness as a powerful tool–for adults, teens and children.
You'll Learn and Teach The Three Core Skills of Mindfulness
No Experience or Belief Needed
This is a course for parents who have little or no experience with mindfulness, or those who are very experienced, but want to know how to teach mindfulness to a child.
Whatever your level of experience, you don't need any religious or spiritual beliefs to take this course. And any specific beliefs you might have won't get in the way.
The practices are simple, safe exercises that guide children to relax, and to observe themselves with a spirit of strength and curiosity–eventually, including when they're having challenging experiences like anxiety.
Why I'm Teaching This Course
In the past few years, young family members and friends' children began having bouts of anxiety when trying to sleep, riding in cars, doing tests at school–everyday things that suddenly began triggering anxiety. These experiences were a catalyst for me to train in teaching mindfulness to children (the best job ever!).
So, I'd love to show you how mindfulness can help your child with anxiety and plant the seeds of an invaluable lifelong skill.
"Thank you, Ann—you've really gone above and beyond in making this another positive learning opportunity about mindfulness for the boys. They both really looked forward to seeing you each time and came back from the lessons super happy and enthused." ~ Parent of two young mindfulness students
What You'll Receive in this Course, in Addition to the Video Lectures
- 6 guided audio practices for children (suited to ages 5 to 14)
- 1 full-length guided audio practice for adults
- Exercises to help you relate what you learn to you and your child's specific situations, strengths and difficulties
- Quizzes to clarify key material
- Downloadable PDF resources, including how to create mindful routines, tips for teaching and supplies, a course summary, and a bonus article, "What is Mindfulness?"
- Ongoing support from me through the Udemy discussion board
Take this short guided tour through what you'll learn about mindfulness and how to teach it to your child with skill and confidence.
There are common myths and misunderstandings about mindfulness. In this lecture, I'll clarify some of the most common ones.
Learn a definition of mindfulness, and the difference between mindfulness and meditation. Plus, you'll do a mini mindfulness practice and download an in-depth article on mindfulness.
Does mindfulness have a place in a modern, technological world? Is it relevant to you and your child's life? In this lecture, I talk with you about the "why" of mindfulness, and how its three core skills have deep and far-reaching value.
What is anxiety? How does it work and how can mindfulness help? Please download the Understanding Anxiety MP3 to learn more and see the resources included in the lecture article.
You will get much (much!) more out of this course, if you make what you learn your own. A good place to start is to keep a course journal. Please see my suggestions on how to create a journal to support your learning.
This is your first chance to think about how mindfulness can help your child. Take a few minutes to do this short exercise.
What's the best way to explain mindfulness to your child? Learn a child-friendly way to introduce mindfulness and tips to engage their curiosity.
How old does my child need to be to practise mindfulness? What if they won't sit still? Hear answers to some of parents' most common questions about mindfulness for kids.
Educators and researchers have begun studying how mindfulness benefits children. This lecture includes some of the most encouraging news about how a bit of regular mindfulness practise helps children build an amazing range of personal strengths.
Most children in our modern cultures are experiencing more pressures than ever before. Mindfulness can be a powerful medicine for helping children to cope well with these pressures, activities, choices and more.
Take a minute to look back on some key points so far.
In this lesson, I'll tell you how to avoid the most common mistake people make when practising mindfulness and how it undermines your efforts–whether you're a beginner or a very experienced practitioner.
This short audio lecture gives you tips on when and how to practise mindfulness.
When you're ready to do one of the guided mindfulness practices, this lecture will explain how to begin and how to get the most out of your time in mindfulness.
Take a pause here and do a short mindfulness practice.
How could practising mindfulness help you? When you think about this question, you may also see how mindfulness could benefit your child.
This short lecture will explain the two types of practices in the course.
Now you're getting ready to teach! Here are some tips to get you started.
My puppet friend, Squibbs the rabbit, insisted on doing a video for kids. Here's a short video for your child on the different ways you can sit or lie down when practising mindfulness.
Breathing Buddy is one of the Foundational Practices for physical relaxation. The focus of the practice is to pay attention to the physical sensations of breathing. So, you're not thinking about the breath, but feeling the breath in your body. With the Breathing Buddy, you also have a friend along for the practice. You can listen online or download the recording to your devices.
The other Foundational Practice for physical relaxation is Sensing My World. Like the Breathing Buddy, this practice guides you to focus on physical sensations. It will help your nervous system to relax and encourages the practice of paying kind attention to whatever is happening in your body. Learning to recognize and observe physical sensations can be a huge help in diffusing and coping with anxious feelings.You can listen online or download the recording to your devices.
Here is the first Focus on Anxiety practice, FAWN and My Feelings. This practice is a gentle exercise on befriending feelings. You'll use the FAWN approach to mindfulness to observe and be with any feelings that are present. You can listen online or download the recording to your devices.
Thought Bubbles is the next Focus on Anxiety practice.Thoughts are such a big part of the anxiety cycle. So, in this practice, you're guided to hold on to thoughts less tightly–to let them go by like soap bubbles floating through the air. You can listen online or download the recording to your devices.
This is the final Focus on Anxiety practice, My Still Space. Anxiety can be a scary thing. This is a practice that leads you to experience a silent, safe space in your breath–it's a child's version of a traditional mindfulness practice to rest in silence within. Finding that space, and resting there, is a wonderful, always-present antidote to feelings of anxiety. You can listen online or download the recording to your devices.
Download and enjoy this bonus practice that incorporates movement.
A breath-based practice download for adults.
Here are a few more questions on key ideas so far.
Congratulations on teaching your first practices! I really encourage you to make a few notes about how it went, your child's feedback and your impressions on what's next.
My hope with this course is you'll want to continue on with some mindfulness in your child's day! This video will give you ideas on how to do this, in small and big ways. Please download the Create Mindful Routines PDF too.
Now that you've finished the course, I take a look back at the most important things I'd like you to remember. Most of all, I tell you how I'm here to support you during and after you've completed the course.
I hope you'll keep using your mindfulness journal, as a way to gather your most important insights from the course and to incorporate the principle of mindfulness into your life.
Here are a few of my favourite books and apps.
Ann Vrlak is founder of OneSelf Meditation where she has been teaching meditation and mindfulness to adults since 2005 and children since 2010.
Ann loves to share the profound and practical benefits of meditation that bring us more balance, happiness and depth. Her teaching is rooted in practices and perspectives from Eastern wisdom traditions, with core ideas from modern psychology and brain science. She enjoys creating a learning environment that's inquiring, supportive and fun.
Ann is a Certified Meditation Teacher, a Mindfulness Instructor for Children and a Certified Child Meditation Facilitator. She also brings her skills as a Certified Solution-Focused Coach to her teaching.
Her most important qualification is over 25 years of meditation practise through life's humbling ups and downs. She looks forward to meeting you and sharing the wonderful practices of mindfulness and meditation.