Parents and Move Mindfully®

These strategies transcend the classroom.

I have been working on healthy classrooms as a part of my professional career for close to a decade. Now, with my third grader, this work hits home. I have spent a lot of time trying to convince teachers in districts across the state that mindfulness is a positive addition to classroom routines.

I feel fortunate that my daughter was able to experience Move Mindfully® in her third grade classroom.  As a parent, I feel so lucky that my daughter is part of Ms. Kennelly’s class.I also knew that my daughter, in particular, would benefit from from these practices. She has struggled academically because of ADHD, and I have always known that breathing, stretching and moving helped her stay focused on her work.

Using Movement at Home

As part of our daily homework and reading routine, we take breaks every 10-15 minutes. I find balancing poses, like Eagle and Tree featured in the Focusing Routine, are especially beneficial. This helps her make it through her homework in a calm and peaceful manner. Sometimes I can even see that taking that time has re-energized her to finish reading a story that we otherwise would not have been able to complete.

Breathing in the classroom

Mindfulness Practice

Since starting third grade, Maggie has become MY teacher. She talks about the importance of getting at least 15 minutes of mindful minutes every day, and models that behavior by sitting on her bed and looking out her bedroom window quietly every morning before she moves on with her day.

morning mindfulness

She has also shown me that taking time to be calm after a lot of activity, helps to move us peacefully to the next activity. One time she encouraged me and her brother to find a peaceful spot to slow down and ground ourselves after leaving a playground. She sat on a rock calmly for 5 minutes and then was ready to move on with our activities that afternoon.

mindfulness break at the playground

I was pleasantly surprised this holiday season when topping Maggie’s Christmas list was a yoga mat, chime and breathing ball! We now have a family yoga routine that we can do together. Her enthusiasm for movement and mindfulness is helping our whole family incorporate healthy practices into our routines.

How do you incorporate mindfulness into your parenting? Do you use similar strategies with ADHD learners? Please leave a comment!

Jessica Boyer Smith can be reached at

12 replies
  1. Jodi Carter
    Jodi Carter says:

    Jessica, Thanks for sharing the impact that mindfulness and yoga has had with your daughter. What a testimony to its influence at school and at home!

  2. Evette Farley
    Evette Farley says:

    Thanks for this article. It gives me ideas on how children who have ADHD can have more calming moments on their own.

  3. Meg Bell
    Meg Bell says:

    Thanks for sharing. It really affirms using Yoga Calm in the classrooms as well as support groups. I’ll also be sharing this with families!

    • Wendy Schemmel
      Wendy Schemmel says:

      What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. I am going to share this with my second grade daughter (newly diagnosed ADD) we have found that yoga, breathe work and starting to learn mindfulness as well as Essential Oils is really helping our daughter feel like she has more control of her body and emotions.

  4. Aaron Dang
    Aaron Dang says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am in a masters program for educational psychology and I am making sure to study the science of mindfulness and the implications for young ones in the classroom. Happy to see that mindfulness is changing your family dynamic a bit!

  5. Ginger Kupka
    Ginger Kupka says:

    I too have been utilizing these skills in my classrooms for years and am trying to find a way for my son to use the techniques at school. The current issue is that he is being teased and as a result refuses to do anything that might draw further attention to himself. He does use some of the tools while at home and I am SUPER hopeful having read your post that he will grow a routine of his own as he sees the benefits!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  6. Kenora Kallstrom
    Kenora Kallstrom says:

    Thanks for Sharing! I love hearing kids take into account their needs and sharing activities with important adults in their lives.

  7. Julie Picconatto
    Julie Picconatto says:

    It is inspiring, that someone so young can grasp the importance of calm and is sharing that with family and others through her example.


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